Newcastle United Vs Manchester United: Player ratings!

Posted on January 6th, 2012 | 32 Comments |

Alan Pardew and Yohan Cabaye.
The Silver Supremo and Dreamboat - My men of the match (apart from the Toon Army that is).
Firstly, let me just start by saying Newcastle thoroughly deserved their win and it was a win by United more than a loss by Manchester.

They were never allowed to settle on the ball, from the off. Newcastle also took the game to them, showed no fear whatsoever, gave no respect and pressed on with their own game regardless of what Man U brought to the party.

It wasn’t as if they had a depleted team, or even squad. When you looked at the team sheets, you would be forgiven for feeling pretty apprehensive, if not a little queasy. That didn’t seem to bother the Lads one iota though as they showed their intension to play a quick passing game, pushing forward as often as possible. The recent overuse of the long ball game was quelled, but it was used to good effect to catch the visitors on the break.

Newcastle made Manchester look bad by destroying their rhythm and dictating the feel and pace of the game. As the game wore on Manchester started to look more and more desperate as they searched for the solace and inspiration of a goal. But this in turn saw them spiral further into the vortex of Newcastle’s control. As the game got further away the collective loss of temper of the reigning champions was palpable and they were fortunate not to garner more than two yellow cards. Even with the relative leniency of the officials, mostly the referee, Howeird Webb, there was still very little positive to be gleaned by anyone in red on the night.

And this is why…

Tim Krul – 8:

Didn’t really have that much to do, but what he did have to do, he did well.

His clearances and distribution have both markedly improved of late, which is great to see. He’s obviously worked on this aspect of his game. He looked a little lost when Rooney almost got one back, but Danny Simpson ably covered for him on the line. Tim loved him for that! He also got an assist for the 3rd goal with a massive if wind assisted kick and claimed a well earned clean sheet against the reigning champs.

Danny Simpson – 8.5:

Some top defensive work from the birthday boy up against his former employers.

He didn’t put a foot wrong that i could see. His stop on the line saved Tim Krul while preserving our clean sheet. So that’s one in each of our games v Man U this season. The lad obviously was playing out of his skin, fully committed and showing what he can achieve when he gives his all, well done Danny and

Happy Birthday kidda!

Captain Coloccini – 8.5:

What can I say about Captain Colo that I or anyone else hasn’t said already?

Rock solid, inspires confidence, organizes, puts his foot on the ball, puts his foot in, spreads the play, keeps it on the ground, keeps it simple, keeps his head. Did Man U have a centre forward on the pitch?

This guy is one of the best Captains this club has every had. His cool attitude is infectious.

Mike Williamson – 8.5:

Since he’s been back from injury he’s done little wrong while adding some much needed height, steel and understanding to our central defence.

He continued in that vein in this game, winning balls and getting rid of them quickly while resisting the urge to hoof. With his partner Colo, he nullified the Man U attack throughout the match. Nothing spectacular just no-nonsense defending expertly done. It’s a real compliment to him from me to say that I hardly noticed him. Great shift in his 3rd game back from a long lay off.

Davide Santon – 8.5:

Davide looked like he ‘arrived’ in this game.

He’s been gently aclimatised to the English brand of football and this match was an excellent point of reference for him. Smooth and cultured with the ball, economical in his passing and marauding when moving forward. He takes the ball through midfield or down the wing with ease. Not unlike Colo in his refusal to lump it. I was wondering whether his languid italian style would cope with the hurly-burly nature of a prestigious Premier League encounter like this. He passed with flying colours! Welcome to the Toon Davide!

Get him on the team sheet!

Cheick Tiote – 8:

Ooo! Controversial.

While Tiote came on strong and helped win the midfield battle along with Cabaye, for me, he was still dwelling on the ball a little too long at certain points. He put one or two of his team mates under pressure with the odd slightly under hit pass and turned into trouble in the dangerous 30 yard to edge of the box area. In saying that he still produced a great performance and bossed the defensive midfield. He was very unlucky to be cautioned and it seemed that his reputation for hard tackling preceded him with not only ref Howard Webb, but also Man U.

He will be missed when he leaves for Africa.

Cabaye – 9.5:

What a game from this legend in the making!

Totally grabbed the game by the scruff of the neck, blocked every pass, cut out everything, broke up their passing to the point of perfection, passed quickly and sensibly, bombed forward but never left the defence exposed. The energy of this guy is a joy to behold and he must have covered ever blade on the Saint James’ Park pitch. Displaying guile, toughness, stamina and die-hard attitude, he was completly tuned-in to this game and his amazing free kick goal was the cherry on the top of a cake of dynamic midfield prowess. It’s remarkable how similar his goal was/is to the one he scored v Blackburn in the League Cup. Vive la France!

My Man of the Match.

Jonas – 8:

As per usual, he worked his socks off.

Backing up the defence, creating an outlet either from our own corner flag or down the wing. Their defenders looked worried as hell when he was on the ball. His calmness under pressure in a tight spot is so frustrating for the opposition that they inevitably end up diving in at him, winning us precious free kicks. He didn’t get to attack that much but was an integral part of a winning midfield nonetheless.

Ryan Taylor – 8:

Moving to a more familiar right midfield berth for this game, Ryan looked at home. Got stuck in and didn’t let anyone down.

He chipped in with a decent free kick and a few decent corners that pressured their goal mouth. A fair bit of his work was taken up defending, but that’s something he’s got used to this season and I must say it’s helped his overall game.

Shola Ameobi – 8.5:

This was one of those games where Shola shuts a load of detractors up.

He held up the ball expertly, pulled off back heels and was a willing and effective foil for Demba Ba. Assisted Ba’s goal and took untold knocks from their back line. He genuinely seemed to unsettle their CB’s with his presence. He got no protection from ref Webb and was constantly climbed on and hacked and pushed, but he got up and put in a performance. He tired slightly towards the end and was replaced but not before he’d had a say.

Demba Ba – 9:

What a goal, again! This lad only seems to score top class goals.

When you (and opposition defences) think there’s nothing there, he does something amazing with skill, class and beauty, then puts it in the back of the net. Ran all night long and never looked like stopping. He scared the you know what out of their whole back five. Man U quickly had to resort to chopping him down to stop him. It was most disappointing that Webb found it in himself to ignore a clear penalty on 25 minutes, but he wasn’t to be denied. His goal was text book turn, improvise, volley first time, all in one movement. Fantastic! This guy is our new No. 19 legend! He is going to be sorely missed for a month or so, what a player! Get me some strawberry syrup!

We love you!


James Perch: came on for Cabaye in a massive game for him. He did make a couple of early mistakes but he put his foot in too.

Leon Best: Replaced Shola and didn’t get much time to do much as we were being pressured at the other end by this point, Although he did enough in their box to upset Lindegaard and Jones into a rick for our 3rd goal. Funny!

Gabriel Obertan: Came on at the death and got himself a win against his old employers, he must have loved that.

Right, that’s 4 points from Manu this season, which is nice!

Alan Pardew – 9.5:

It seems a bit churlish not to give the bloke a 10 and maybe I’m wrong here, what do you think? I think he judged it just right, impeccable!

Like I said on an earlier blog (as did Chuck TBF ;) ) Man U were there to be attacked, AP seemed to be on a similar wavelength. While we did score from a couple of punts and a free kick that actually belies the greater amount of proper football we played. It was the correct mix of football and “route one” when necessary. He shored up the defence to see out the game and while we were pressured at the end we never seemed to drop too deep and always scared them when we won the ball and played a useful out ball.

The team was obviously geared up perfectly and won this game, it was not handed to us.

The officials – 6.5:

Am I being generous ‘cos we won?

I really feared the worse when I saw the officials for this game. Generally, they did nothing to alter my initial cynicism, sadly. Howard Webb, not helped by his (un)able assistants seemed to allow Man U every opportunity to survive this match. How Valencia wasn’t given about 4 yellows in the first half alone was a mystery of corkscrew proportions. Why wasn’t it a pen? How did Giggs not get a yellow for his hack at Demba? Why were their center backs allowed to climb all over Shola and Ba?

All this and more will probably never be revealed, ever!

Oh well! By the by, I suppose?

The Toon Army being their usual restrained selves.
The Toon Army being their usual restrained selves.

Toon Army – 10!

When a virtual full house (52,299) rocked up to SJP on a cold, wet and blustery Wednesday evening in January to face the reigning Premier league champions, doubtless they weren’t expecting such a monumental effort from the lads in Black ‘n’ White. But they seemed to sense pretty early on that this could be a historic night and got right behind the team like only a Geordie crowd in full participation can.

What a noise! What an atmosphere! What a crowd! What a game!

What a result!

For Bowburn-Peace!

NUFC Blog match report and match highlights and post match interviews.

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.

Related Posts:

  • No Related Posts

32 Responses

  1. Excellent summary Clint and especially pleased that you mentioned Pardew as he clearly had done his homework on ManU as he attended their previous game and saw how their central defence couldn’t cope with Yakubu.

  2. great review though Howard webb should be shoot after he gave the free kick against Newcastle when rio clearly went over the top of ba!. hope ben arfa gets his chance now ba and tiote have gone to Africa from his interview he is not one happy chappy.

    some interesting points from the independent on some of newcastle’s star players estimated values:

    Cheick Tioté Defensive midfielder. The Ivorian shows the strength and desire to dominate games. Estimated market value: £25m

    Tim Krul A keeper with a presence. Has made some key saves this season and is aiming to make himself Netherlands No 1. EMV: £10m

    Fabricio Coloccini A favourite with fans. Has shown true spirit to come through the trauma of relegation so well but his contract is running down. EMV: £10m

    Demba Ba Has 15 goals in his last 16 games and his all-round game makes him an obvious target. EMV: £25m

    Yohan Cabaye Central midfielder who can do it all: score, create and work. EMV: £15m

  3. great win. great article.

    since there will be no new arrivals for midfield (according to AP), i won’t mind seeing raylor getting the nod ahead of obertan. raylor has got more defensive abilities and willingness to cross.

  4. I think you missed 1 thing off about shola in the reveiw. For me he seemed lazy at times never willing to run. Dont get me wrong if AP played him fir his height and stregth then he done really well, would like to see that little bit more drive from him.

    All round excellent performance from toon totally out played manu.
    Bring on blackburn.


  5. tis a pity the blogmaster didn’t appreciate your article instead of trying to run it down on the last thread. But then thats just par for the course, because his head is still up hooters ass, so it seems if anyone credits Pardew then they get abused for it. Just a pity that in this case its a guy that puts a lot of work in to helping the blog that he runs down this time.
    Im sure it wont be long before this is removed like anyother post that lays blame at the blogmasters door. It seems he doesn’t like anyone expressing opinions that are not favourable to him. But he doesn’t mind expressing his own opinions and abuse towards others.
    Take it eas Clint and don’t let them get to you,some of us enjoy what you write.

  6. Alan Pardew – 9.5: It seems a bit churlish not to give the bloke a 10 and maybe I’m wrong here, what do you think?

    He certainly got it right on Wednesday Clint. In fact he’s had a pretty good season so far.

  7. thanks Clint for a damn good read !
    and Cabaye – I’ve been saying since his first few games that he will become a geordie great, he’s already better than the superb Bobbie Lee!

    Pardew I agree read the game perfectly, but I don’t understand the man – I thought he was useless, then good, then after the league cup defeat & 4-4-2 mediocrity hopeless, then 4th in the league – talk about a rollercoaster!
    OK, after this match he is a damn good manager – until he proves otherwise. Alan Pardew’s Black & White Army? mmmm … well not quite yet, but if we stuff Blackburn with this team & style then … perhaps… soon? I might even let him shag yer sister.


  8. Thanx for the feedback lads, top banana!

    It was as more a review as a ratings, that’s why it took me bloody ages.


    i was having an off day mate, i’m feeling & looking better today!

  9. CLiNT, excellent write up, I’d pretty well agree with most of your assessment and scores. Glad to see an appreciation of Willo, he tends to be an unsung hero in games past and recent. I also feel that Shola is starting to show some form and I think he works a lot harder than people realise. He might just be getting some confidence from having his little brother in the first team squad, some of the stuff he tries often doesn’t come off but he does try!!

    The squad does have a curates egg aspect at the moment, when they are good they can beat anyone, but will go and lose when they shouldn’t, on paper and in actuallity. If we can keep the good Toon version we could even finish top four, I doubt if many long term supporters are expecting this though.

    We have to beat Blackburn and get, ultimately, a long overdue trophy under our belts (this season)!!!

  10. Why thank you Clint, generous of you to give me a bit of credit, as i appear to be the Rodney Dangerfield of the blog.
    Now in regards to your rating’s, howeh man !
    Gotta agree with Workey, a tad too high, I mean we definately outplayed Man. U.beat em good, which was satisfying as hell.
    But were not yet Barcelona!
    Got no problem with an otherwise excellent account, just the ratings, hey dont feel bad i jumped all over one guy on his maiden blog, come to think of it havent seen anything from him since, ah well !
    Keep up the good work!

  11. chuck says:
    January 6, 2012 at 3:00 pm

    “Why thank you Clint, generous of you to give me a bit of credit, as i appear to be the Rodney Dangerfield of the blog.”

    I don’t get no respect, no respect at all. That’s the story of my life. Take my wife, no, please, take my wife! :-)

  12. Grumpy Old-Toon says:
    January 6, 2012 at 1:40 pm

    “The squad does have a curates egg aspect at the moment, when they are good they can beat anyone, but will go and lose when they shouldn’t, on paper and in actuallity.”

    Grumpy, I’ve been banging on about it for ages but people just don’t seem to get it. Whether it’s Pardew, Hughton, Alex Ferguson or whoever, it’s natural for developing teams are erratic before they are consistently good.

  13. Grumpy
    It actually takes an enormous effort, to win as convincingly as we did.
    There have been a few games where we played the same way and by that i mean not letting the opposition settle, pressing them high and winning posession of all the 50-50 balls.
    Remind’s me of the six terriers that play for Barcelona, takes a tremendous load off the back four.
    As for tactically ?
    We were all over the place, but the basic tactic of playing a high intensity game, pressing continually and not allowing the opposition to settle into any pattern, well it takes energy and a willingness to give it your all, but it works.
    Well here we go without Ba and Tiote, hopefully Guthrie can fill in adequately, personally i would play Jonas in Tiote role and try out either Abeid or Ferguson on the left.
    Problem is who’s gonna replace Ba, guess it’s the Fenham Eusebio or Best, perhaps together as Shola has shown he can play alongside Ba, laying on some surprising and perfectly weighted passes, who knew ?
    Guess we will struggle through, but the African Competition has to be switched to a time that does not require players to be gone for prolonged periods during a critical part of the season , it’s unfair to those who are paying their wages and could become a bone of contention with possibly some major European sides objecting and understandably so, now that many African players are stars of some of the biggest clubs.

  14. UTD111
    Speak of the devil, was just describing to Clint, how i jumped all over your maiden article a short while ago.
    So this had better be good or your gonna get a repeat performance OK !
    Nah, just kidding !

  15. Most of that analysis I agree with-great win.

    BUT, I don’t know that we went away from the long ball. Two of our goals came from the first or second touch after a goal kick. We actually attempted about 160 more passes against LFC. To me, this win is down to understanding what works against specific opponents. Blackburn provided the blueprint: their makeshift back four hasn’t dealt with direct pressure. Good job by AP seeing that and exploiting it.

    Onwards & upwards! HOWAY THE LADS!

  16. chuck,

    Seeing as we beat the reigning champs comprehensively, against the usual predictions from the pundits, i reckon the ratings merited that.

    i did mention that we actually scored from punts, we still played a lot of football too though. A nice blend of the two i thought.

  17. I agree with most of that, but I’d give Shola a 6.

    I don’t think he’s lazy, its just that his mind is far too slow. He can’t read the game.

    There was one excellent pass from someone and he was onside, but he just watched the ball and about 10 seconds later he was saying Oh, was that meant for me? Sorry!