Player Ratings: Newcastle Vs Stoke… Hat-Trick or Treat Special!

Posted on November 2nd, 2011 | 65 Comments |

Demba Ba: My man of the match.
Demba Ba: My man of the match.
What a great sight!

Watching Tony Pubis ‘kick off’ because of our defenders using their (Stoke’s) tricks, er, tactics at throw ins. Namely, taking time to dry the ball with the towels provided for Rory Delap’s thunderbolts. He must have thought double drat when Ryan Taylor actually produced some howitzers of his own; nice one Ryan.

He (Pubis) also looked ‘put on the spot’ and decidedly uncomfortable when asked by the reporter about Stoke’s reticence to buy Demba “ticking time bomb” Ba when they had the chance recently.

All in all, Stoke were ‘out Stoked’ in a game that made them look perticularly ordinary and belied their terrific and enviable home record. Newcastle took the game to them, put them under constant early pressure and were rewarded for their endeavour with a 2 goal half time lead.

Most of Stoke’s lads were rendered anonymous for large tracts of the game. The ref seemed to ‘help’ Stoke back into the game in the second half with what looked a very innocuous penalty, but to his credit, he seemed to ‘even it up’ just 6 minutes later, handing Demba Ba the opportunity to complete a ‘perfect’ hat-trick from the spot.

Pulis had obviously set an ‘H’ bomb off under his team during the break, let alone ‘give them a rocket’. But the ref did seem to hand them a few easy free kicks and various decisions. No matter, the lads kept their focus and saw the game out, registering an excellent away win. It was just a pity we didn’t get the clean sheet that our courageous defence would have throughly deserved.

So, time for some player ratings:


Tim Krul 8: Was always there when required, grabbed crosses, launched throw-ins and the like and would not be put off amidst some ridiculous pressure at throws and corners. Totally surrounded most of the time, whilst being bumped and baulked for his trouble. Excellent concentration! Only smudge being some of his kicks.

But hey, he needs something to learn!

Danny Simpson 8: Quite possibly his best and most complete game for us; great work! Had Pulis absolutely ‘stottin’ with his ironic ball drying routine.

Keep it up kidda!

Fabricio Coloccini 8: Yet another imperious display from our leader. Cool under pressure, productive with the ball, great marshalling of the defence. Top left footed diagonal cross to Best to set up the second goal.

New contract please!

Steven Taylor 8: Got stuck in all over place. Blocked, passed, headed away and was also on hand just in case Demba missed his second goal. Wasn’t out muscled at corners etc, and kept his cool.

Ryan Taylor 8: Even though Stoke had orders to bombard him down our left, particularly in the first half, he would not let them pass. He took a few ‘hits’ on the night but still got up and put in a great shift.

Again, upset Pulis with the towel and his own ‘bomb-like’ throw in.

As you can see, I gave the whole defence an excellent “8” individually, but I’d really give them a 10 collectively as they really were greater than the sum of the their parts, Truly excellent defending!


Jonas Gitierrez 8.5: Wow! What a game from the lad, helping out Ryan down the left, taking the pressure off while still providing an out ball. Not as effective going forward for that reason, but what a shift. Jonas is playing like a man possessed at the moment.

Long may it continue!

Yohan Cabaye 8: Another good solid performance form Yohan. Didn’t get to shine too much in a tough away game but played neat passes all night long, even without his usual partner, Tiote.

Danny Guthrie 8.5: Excellent game by Danny! Came in to fill the unenviable boots of Tiote and put in a storming display. He’s come back fitter and better than ever.

It must make Toon fans sleep a lot easier knowing that when Tiote goes to the African Cup of Nations in January, we have a guy who will produce this kind of game. I honestly think he ever so slightly out did Cabaye in this one.

More like this Danny!

Gabriel Obertan 8: Quite possibly Gaby’s best game in the Black ‘n’ White too. Great, deft cross to find Ba for the first, upset their back line every time he got at them. Looked like he was loving it too. Was our main outlet due to Jonas’ defensive duties on the night.

Really starting to find his feet now.


Leon Best 8: Held everything up he was given, flicked on to Obertan for the first. Pressured their defenders constantly. Laid on the second, albeit, a slightly scuffed shot, but took the ball down by juggling with head and chest. Then won the penalty, when he was obviously pushed and to his credit, didn’t flop like a nancy, a la a certain stick man at the other end.

Denba Ba 9.5: What can you say? Another hat-trick or treat! In fact, a ‘perfect’ hat-trick, left foot, right foot, header. Still had plenty to do to cushion the first one back into the net, contorting himself, great control. Nice easy ‘stab’ tap-in for the second, in the right place at the right time. Finally, a well taken penalty to take the pressure back off the team and effectively ‘kill’ Stoke off just as they were getting all the breaks.

The only reason he doesn’t get a 10 is because he was the one adjudged to have ‘felled’ Crouch, and like last time, I’m saving it for when he gets 4 in a game.

Man of the Match!

The subs didn’t have much time to make much of an impression, but they played their part in a great away win. Well done Perch, Sammy and Gosling.

Alan Pardew got it spot on, and some of the teams who have gone before us will perhaps be wishing that they’d approached it like we did.

Special mention for the amazing away support, they really got into the game and it was great to hear a pin drop for most of the match from the home support. The team kept the Britannia Stadium about as quiet as I’ve heard for many a game.


Overall, a top all round team away performance with no losers, don’t ya’ think?

Stroll on Everton!

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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65 Responses

  1. BTW, to the left of my screen (oh, I see it’s soap). It looked like a piece of Evertonian toffee well and truly turned black and white. Oh well,since it’s soap, maybe we’ll just take them to the cleaners instead. HWTL as we make our onwards and upwards climb to go second above Manure.

  2. Barc,

    just in case anyone was thinking i meant those words literally.
    You never know like.

  3. I can see the following fixtures go
    Everton win
    Manc lose
    Manu draw
    Chelsea win
    7 points from 12 is that hoping for to much?

  4. worky,


    To be fair to auld Tone, he’s done a fantastic job for stoke over the last few seasons.

  5. CLiNT,

    Ha ha, no probs man.

    You know that voice in your head? Not the one that tells you it’s God and you should kill… the other one that you hear in your mind when reading?

    I can’t help doing a David Brent ‘pause’ and making air quotes whenever I ‘see’ them in ‘sentences’. Tiny things and all that…

  6. Clint – wow 8 as a minimum! can’t realy argue there. Its especialy great to see Guthrie & Obertan getting good scores after many (incl me!) didn’t fancy them.

    This can be a special team on its day – let’s be optimistic, I don’t think anyone wants to play us just now –
    beat everton -3 points
    draw manc 1 point
    draw manu 1 point
    draw chelsea 1 point
    = 6 points
    why not?


  7. supermac,

    That away win at stoke was a really great performance & it would’ve been churlish in the extreme to leave anyone out of the praise that was richly deserved.

    T.ogether E.veryone A.chieves M.ore.


  8. Talking with my brother the other week I said 2 pts from Man City/Utd/Chelsea run would be fine – still think that – anything else would be an early xmas pressie

  9. Thought we playing on a gridiron park judging by the amount of white lines there were. I have never seen such a piss-take of an effort to bewilder an oponant in my life. Serves you right Pubis, you got what you deserved,nowt.
    Bring on the sticky hairy Toffes. settle for 1-0. HWTL.

  10. I think 8 for Krul is a bit generous. His handling wasn’t great (dropped one cross, almost dropped another), and he could’ve been more authoritative in his own box. That said, he’s been brilliant for us all season.

    Personally, didn’t think Obertan was great aside from his cross. Guthrie was a solid standing, Cabaye worked his socks off, and the defence was solid all night.

    Best didn’t have a great game, but didn’t have a bad one either. For me MOM goes to Jonas. Covered more ground than anyone, and covered Raylor.

  11. Krul dropped one cross that did no damage, the lad actually caught more than you see from most other ‘keepers & was under immense pressure from dodgy goings on at corners etc. He deserved 8 i reckon.
    Obertan & Best did everything that was asked of them.
    Best in particular had a hand in all 3 goals & lead the line excellently. He was a great foil for Ba 7 kept the stoke defence on their toes all game.
    Obertan got a great assist & scared the hell outta stoke with his pace & gave us an outlet.
    Jonas did what he always does, helped out at the back. They were sending everything down our left but got nowt thanx to him & Raylor.
    Soz like, but i stand by those marks & like i said in the write up, they deserved a collective 10 in defence.
    I noticed in other ratings where sites are still persisting with their marking down of players like Simpson & Raylor, imv, simply ‘cos they aren’t ‘fashionable’ players.
    Every defender on the night deserved an 8, regardless of poxy favouritism!

    I thank you!

  12. cabaye is looking like a real bargain and again credit to our chief scout mr carr.hope he finds us another forward for january etc .brilliant tactics by pardew as well and i never ever thought i would praise the man but he has them playing their socks off as a team

  13. Think we can get 12 points from next 4 games – they ain’t all that :) will be more than happy with 4-6 though will accept 3

  14. Season has been immense so far – hopefully fans wont turn once we have a few defeats, we all know how fickle we are :)

  15. 4411,

    I don’t think any of us have anywhere else we’d rather be mate, do you?

    Howay the Lads!

  16. worky,
    i’ve got ball all else to do for now, i’ll be off in 40 mins mate.
    I’m having a giggle!


  17. CLiNT FLiCK says:
    November 2, 2011 at 11:27 pm

    i’ve got ball all else to do for now, i’ll be off in 40 mins mate.
    I’m having a giggle!”

    How’s the little shite factory deein’ then Clint?

    Have you got him his first little baby kit yet? :-)

  18. worky,

    He’s cool mate, thanx. Just starting to get something back, sweet!

    Aye, he’s got the white away kit, doesn’t quite fit yet though. A couple of ‘onesies’ for sweet NUFC dreams too.

    I’m teaching him his heritage on a daily basis.
    Can’t wait to tak ‘im doon the park for a kick aboot like.

    BTW, babies love to look at B&W stuff, it’s actually really good for their eyes.

  19. zippie says:
    November 2, 2011 at 10:52 pm

    “cabaye is looking like a real bargain and again credit to our chief scout mr carr”

    zippie, I did some reaearch and club got him for about half of what he should have been, which should have been more like about £10 million in the current market. It’s also credit to Hughton for bringing Carr into the club though.

    We were indeed quite tactically astute against Stoke. Most of the team were working in a defensive capacity to stifle them and stop them drom playing their game, even Best and Ba. Inbetween scoring a hatrick, Ba was particularly good at inhibiting Begovic’s kicking, and Best was good at countering their aerial threat too amongst others.

  20. CLiNT FLiCK says:
    November 2, 2011 at 11:39 pm

    “BTW, babies love to look at B&W stuff, it’s actually really good for their eyes.”

    Doesn’t realy take that long Clint. The bairn’s vision should be well on it’s way now. How old is he now?

  21. best game I’ve seen from Jonas, he was like a man possessed!

    everyone laughed when the Argies stuck him in defence but against Stoke he showed they might have been onto something. at times this season he has frustraited me with his attacking, either due to poor final balls or just running into the defence but playing slightly deeper (not sure he got far enough up the field to be attacking!) he was a breath of fresh air

  22. The only dissapointment Clint was that Krul didn’t use a towel to dry the ball before taking a goal kick. That would have been priceless and even more so if the cameras could have panned onto the face of Pubis!

    I think Pubis is the most obnoxious manager in the Premiership. I don’t think he has any redeeming features.

    In contrast, I have been really pleased with how Pardew acknowledges and gives praise to his opponents where it is due. It’s something that Sir Bobby used to do and marked him out as a man of dignity. Hopefully Pardew can do the same.

  23. just a thought how is newcastle doing in yellow cards a contender for the fair play europa spot. get all you stat people working on something :)

  24. The Chroniclelive site has done a player score/10 for the season so far – facinating as it may be, but I can’t access it! Anyone else have that problem, or is it just my browser? It is always a poor site for loading cos of all its add-ons & ads but this time it just locks up.

  25. I’ve always wondered about the legality or at least the morality of bringing a towel onto the field and interfering with the match ball. I suppose it is legal or refs would be admonishing players for doing.

    It was therefore with a sense of great schadenfreude I saw our players giving Pulis some of his own medicine and even more satisfying to see him bluster and splutter when it happened.

    I think a lot of teams will follow our example at Stoke and I also think they are going to lose their invincibility tag at home and lose many more this season. Always thought they were overrated anyway and can see them sinking back down the table rapidly from now on.

  26. For weekly stats etc I can recommend monday’s Daily Telegraph football suplement. As well as very good reports of every game it also has a double page spread of all PL games showing starting lineups & formations – you easily see who is playing 4-5-1 away from home (manc) or 4-1-4-1 (manu, chelsea).
    It also has full continental results & tables.

  27. I notice that they’ve caught the racist Sammy Ameobi tweeters. They sound like a right pair of Oscar Wildes.

    After Sammy posted a tweet alongside a pair of black football boots saying “There will always be a place in my heart for the all blacks,” the two 17 year old Ameobi followers, using the name “JonnnnyPhipps” responded “Your hand is nearly the same colour. N****r.”

    Sammy then retweeted it adding “Sad to see some people are still racist nowadays.”

    I don’t think that they’ll achieve quite as much in their lives as Sammy Ameobi will somehow. This should get them off to a great start.

  28. Grumpy Old-Toon says:
    November 3, 2011 at 1:04 pm

    “Always thought they were overrated anyway and can see them sinking back down the table rapidly from now on.”

    You’re right to say that they are “overrated” Grumpy because it’s a complete and utter myth that Stoke are somehow “underdogs” who have managed to punch above their weight by using such unglamourous tactics.

    They have invested quite alot in their squad, and their position in the League (currently 11th) is, more or less, exactly where they should be according to that. In other words they should have achieved at least as much by playing proper football without all the pitch adjustments, timewasting tactics, reliance on ugly long balls and set piece plays etc.

    Statistically, their tactics are becoming less effective too so if anything, they will soon be underacheivers comparative to the level of their squad, which would mean that Pubis’s tactics were actually holding them back rather than helping them to achieve more than they should.

  29. Supermac says:
    November 3, 2011 at 1:06 pm

    “For weekly stats etc I can recommend monday’s Daily Telegraph football suplement.”

    I never had you down as a Tory from the ‘Shires Supermac. :-)

    You’re right about the Torygraph’s football supplement. They’ve got Luke friggin’ Edwards writing for them on North East football matters though :lol:

    Not as bad as the Guardian I suppose with the Mackem witch, Louise Taylor, or the People with Anal “exclusive from my own imagination” Oliver.

  30. nufc337 says:
    November 3, 2011 at 10:38 am

    “just a thought how is newcastle doing in yellow cards a contender for the fair play europa spot. get all you stat people working on something”

    nufc, I’ve consulted with the boys in the nufcblog stats room, and I can confirm that we are currently lower midtable in the yellow card league, ie 12th with 18 but no reds.

    Chelsea are at the bottom, or top depending on which way you look at it with 26 yellows and 3 reds, and Norwich and Spurs seem to be about the best with only 11 yellows. Norwich have had two players sent off though.

  31. worky,
    he’s 10 weeks, he’s got a few months yet before his eye is properly in, my mrs. knows this stuff & that’s what she reckons…Up to 6 months apparently.

    guess johnny didn’t get the gist of my memo on ‘poxy favouritism’ then?


  32. CLiNT FLiCK says:
    November 3, 2011 at 2:18 pm

    he’s 10 weeks,”

    When do the training sessions start then Clint? Have you got the traffic cones for him to dribble round and all the other stuff yet? :-)

  33. worky – Tory from the ‘Shires Supermac
    – like the sound of it, do I get a coat of arms? Seriously though, I do have some grouse in my back garden – they’re just like chickens & will take bird seed & peanuts from you hand!

    Looking at the telegraph stas again there is a box summarising –
    top scorers, total shots, fouls won, fouls conceded
    cards R/Y, hit woodwork, goals inside box, outside box, set piece goals, headed, first 10 mins, last 10 mins.

    our only mention is fouls conceded = 119 equal with chelsea, but behind swansea 123 wolves 126 qpr 142

  34. I may be a bit of a dinosaur, but I have never got or subscribed to facebook or twitter.

    Putting personal information on public display or aimlessly chattering about nothing seems to me to be pointless and potentially dangerous, leaving oneself open to hurtful remarks such as Sammy has had.

    Yes I do realise that used correctly it does fulfill a usefull social function for many but for me there is too much scope for the malicious and narrow minded people, not to mention hackers, access to stuff they shouldn’t be able to access.

    I also realise that there are loads of pros as well as cons but I don’t want to do a SteveC and write an essay so will stop there. :)

  35. Supermac says:
    November 3, 2011 at 2:34 pm

    “worky – Tory from the ‘Shires Supermac
    – like the sound of it”

    Supermac, change your nickname to “Disgusted of Tunbridge Wells” :lol:

  36. Grumpy Old-Toon says:
    November 3, 2011 at 2:59 pm

    “I may be a bit of a dinosaur, but I have never got or subscribed to facebook or twitter.”

    You seem to understand them quite well for a “Dinosaur” Grumpy. Some of the messages and comments I’ve received through running sites, especially this one, are pretty vile, but stupid people do it beause they think they are immune. The people who made racist remarks about Sammy Ameobi probably didn’t even realise that you could be arrested for “malicious communication”.

  37. Jonas does so well at Left Wing defensively i think it makes up for R.Taylor playing out of position. Personally i wouldn’t have Taylor in the team but with Jonas on the left flank the anybody can play outstanding at Left Back.

    Best’s touch & hold up play is outstanding he deff gets the nod ahead of Shola every time. But there’s something not right you can see it in his body language i dont know what it is. Whether he’s taking longer to adapt to our style of play than the rest of the team i don’t know or it could be something off the pitch.

    I’d like to see Obertan be less selfish and play first time balls rather than try to take on everybody first. Just feels like the time it takes him to take on players and get in a good position the rest of the opposition has got back.

    Them 3 minor gripes aside. You’re meant to look forward not back. So on with Everton. And I’ve been looking on one of their message boards and they are well up for getting a result, here’s some comments to look at.

    “I really would love to give them a good hiding! They have had such a easy run of fixtures and luck along the way can’t wait for it to come to a shuddering halt.. And would love us to dish it out!”

    “Neutralize Cabaye and were all set
    3-0 i reckon, and our seasonly run of form begins”

    “No idea why but I really fancy us to beat em”

    “We’re better than them and will beat them 2-0″

    “I think we’ll get an away win out of this. 1-2.”

    “dont know how we will pull a win from this one, but they have to falter sooner or later”

    “Absolutely f****** despise this f****** heap of a club, even more than Liverpool and the Mancs, I hope we thrash them but we just wont.

    “Pains me to say it but they are gonna tear us a new asshole, 6-1 to them I reckon.”

    “we will win 2-0, usually do okay against Newcastle”

    “Cahill and Rodwell to score and Distin to manhandle Ba in a 1-2 victory.”

    “They have the best defense in the league. And we are one of the worst teams going forward in the league, not looking good.”

    I think the last one sums up the game for me. The Midfield battle will decide it for me im thinking 4-4-1-1 Ben Arfa in for Best and play him in the hole.

  38. LoonyToon,

    I’m really sorry that your comment got lost yesterday evening and we seemed to miss out on it, especially as you obviously took quite a bit of time on it.

    But divven’t use “F” words or your comments will be forwarded to the moderation queue! ;-)

  39. Anyone else ecstatic that if we beat Everton we’re ahead of Man Utd and 3 points away from Man City? I know they’ll have a game in hand but it is a nice feeling.

  40. looks like obertan is injured for a month. not sure if this a good thing or not. still undecided about him. means marvaux will get a chance but i think we may miss his incredible pace as an outlet plus he puts a good shift in tracking back in front of simpson. hmmmm

  41. STOKE
    They remind me of BSA’s Bolton, of a few seasons back.
    All tactics, whether reducing the size of the playing surface, to knowing exactly what to do on all set pieces , including throw ins, they play percentage football.

    Average height 6′-01″ with some physical players, carbon copy of the old BSA Bolton sides, with a manager that calls all the plays,
    Not pretty to watch, but effective.

    How did we beat them ?
    We played as a team, defended as a unit and forced their slow but high line defenders back, by having both Ba and Best threaten them with speed, from long passes lobbed over them.
    That and by not letting them settle on the ball, hell we looked like those little terriers at Barcelona, harrying every possession by Stoke.

    The side put out a tremendous physical effort and needed to sub players near the end, bet there were some tired bodies on the bus back.

    If we can put out a similar effort against the upcoming sides, who may be getting a bit tired, playing in the various cup and European games, perhaps we can come away with a few points.

    Ok so far these are the guys we have been associated with come the transfer window opening,

    De Jong 10m. Striker, no not the leg breaker !Dutch
    Miaga 6m. ” done deal rumored.French.
    Derdiok ? Midfielder. Swiss.
    Peiters ? LB Dutch.
    Ridgewell ? Defender, English
    Hoilett ? Mid/forward, free agency coming up.Canada.
    So who will be the lucky one/s ?
    Anyone i missed, oh! what about Brown @ Celtic and his striker team-nate ?

  42. chuck says:
    November 3, 2011 at 8:27 pm

    “Not pretty to watch, but effective.”

    Chuck, as I mentioned above, it doesn’t even seem to be particularly “effective” in Stoke’s case ATM. Bearing in mind the amount they have invested in players in recent times, if they have invested wisely, they should easily manage to be in the middle of the table playing a far more pleesant style of football without having to resort to all those pitch changes, timewasting and generally one dimensional “bully-boy” tactics. I’m not sure that Tony Pulis knows how though.

  43. worky,
    aye, stoke have actually spent a fair bit recently, obviously they been getting some decent prem money for a few years now. Whether they’ve spent it wisely is debatable though, ain’t it?
    They do, as you say, spend too much effort on ‘underhand tactics’ though.
    They lack a real play-maker like, & pennant & etherington were nullified throughout
    the game.

  44. Darlomag,

    maybe Obertan’s had a few games, started to settle, had a couple of good, influential games & he’s getting a ‘rest’ & someone else is getting a shot.
    A bit of rotation after a good game so he doesn’t look dropped?
    That’s what other teams do.

    Aye, i could be wrong like, but, a sore toe, a month out? Sounds a cit suss to me like.
    Fair play though if it is rotation disguised as an injury.