Mike Williamson the star of Newcastle United’s “team of the season”

Posted on 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.

Finally, as 4-2-3-1 was Newcastle United’s most common formation in both the Premier League and the Europa League, it is this formation which has been used for both of Newcastle United’s “Dream Teams.”

So without further ado, lets take a look at Newcastle United’s Premier League team of the season!

NUFC team of the season - Premier League.

Before I start on my little round up of who have been the star performers in each area of the pitch, please accept my apologies in advance for not covering every detail, that would make this a very long and complex blog indeed! However I have noted a few of the more salient points in my research without being too much of a Geek (I hope).


As you can see below, both Tim Krul and Steve Harper have achieved the same rating, being roughly similar in terms of performance. If it came down to one, it would be have to be Krul as Harper only made a handful of appearences in the Premier League, which can distort things somewhat. However, as the season just gone was Harper’s last at NUFC after two decades of loyal and excellent service, and he did get the same rating as Krul overall, it’s only fair that I put him in there alongside the Flying Dutchman as some kind of tribute.


Though Mike Williamson has been unfairly criticised by some, he is the definitely the star here as well as being the most highly rated player in the whole squad as far as the Premier League goes.

Statistically, two of the main reasons for this have been his abilty in the air, as well as his clearances. In these respects he won almost four times as many aerial duels as Coloccini (123/32) as well as having a higher percentage of succcess. Of the four main center backs, Williamson had a 69% success rate, S.Taylor 63%, Yanga M’Biwa 54% and Coloccini 51%. Williamson also made more than twice as many successful clearences as Coloccini (69/146), as well as over twice as many successful headed clearences (37/89).

Williamson was also the only main defender who was never dispossessed of the ball according to OPTA. This compares with Davide Santon (23), Danny Simpson (15), Mathieu Debuchy (11), Mapou Yanga M’Biwa (7) and Fabricio Coloccini (5).

With Coloccini’s undoubted abilty with the ball on the floor, combined with Williamson’s in the air, they make a good combination in the heart of Newcastle United’s defence. However, in terms of stats, it is recent import Mapou Yanga M’Biwa who pips the curly haired Argentinian to get the other place beside Williamson, with Debuchy and Santon protecting the flanks. Although Mathieu Debuchy had to pip Danny Simpson for his place on the right hand, I think it’s fair to say that Santon has had little competition on the left, especially so with two major injuries to Ryan Taylor, who Santon replaced as the club’s primary left back.


In the midfield area it is Yohan Cabaye who comes out on top.

Much of this was due to his passing in attack and his overall chance creation. Cabaye created 53 chances according to OPTA. In terms of chances created in open play, Cabaye’s figure was 33, with 18 created from set plays and two goal assists. In this area, credit should also go to Sylvain Marveaux and Vurnon Anita. Despite spending less time on the pitch than several other midfielders, they were the next highest, with both Marveaux and Anita creating 34 chances each. In Marveaux’s case this broke down to 21 chances created in open play and 9 from set plays. Marveaux was also Newcastle United’s bigger provider of assists with 4. Looking at Anita, he created almost as many chances from open play as Cabaye (27). Finally, Anita also provided 6 chances from set plays and 1 assist.


In this forward department the statistics indicate Demba Ba as the first choice up front.

Despite leaving the club in January to join Chelsea, Ba was still our leading Premier League goalscorer (13), taking the most shots (89) with a shot every 23.84 minutes on average, as well as getting the most shots on target (37). Finally, he also made the most headed attempts (20).

Europa League team of the season.

NUFC team of the season - Europa League.

With only fourteen Europa League games, this one is more of a bit of fun rather than anything else. Despite Alan Pardew’s repeated protestions about tiredness, players were rotated quite alot, with many younger and more peripheral squad players being used in the earlier stages of the competition. The most games played by any player was eight (Vurnon Anita and Papiss Cisse). Hence, I won’t attempt to make any deeper analysis of this team. Also, some of the more peripheral players who were used in the earlier gmaes against lesser competition may well have come off slightly better than those who were saved for the likes of Girondins de Bordeaux, Metalist Kharkiv, Anzhi Makhachkala and our final nemesis, the mighty Benfica.

Newcastle United Player of the season vote.

Before I sign off on this piece, I have also decided to start our annual “Player of the season” vote here with the poll below. To keep things sensible, only players who have spent 1000 minutes or more in all competitions have been included. Nonetheless, there are still 23 players to choose from!


NUFCBlog Author: workyticket workyticket has written 1091 articles on this blog.

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130 Responses

  1. What a load of b*ll*cks. As the saying goes “there are lies damn lies and statistics”

  2. Williamson is the worst defender we have goofing it to the opponent when under no pressure every time screwed us royally

  3. NUFC should have fought tooth and nail to KEEP DANNY SIMPSON a hell of a lot better defender than Debuchy

  4. the magpie, alot of fans made it quite clear that they wanted Simpson out and now they’ve got what they wanted. After all the fuss and bother to sign Debuchy he certainly doesn’t seem to be very popular right now though. He will be more used to the Premiership next season but he’s always picked up alot of cards and suspensions and always given away quite a few free kicks and penalties.

  5. I’m going to go for Tim Krul, As per usual, He was probably the busiest person on the pitch.
    With our defence making sure he gets as much practice, As humanly possible.
    And lets not forget the fact!, Under Pardew’s stewardship, He was our main play maker, With the huge boot!

    Demba Ba= 7.11, That must have been how many seconds it took him to make his mind up, To join Chelsea.

    Jonas= 6.82, That must be the average of games, he puts
    over a meaningful cross?

    Danny Simpson= 6.94, Must have been how long it took him to drop his keks for Tulisa?
    When he goes onto a Football pitch, He crosses the white line, I guess Tulisa thought it meant something else!

    Mike Williamson= 7.30, A Saturday game finishes about 4.50 pm, Is 7.30 pm the time he makes it back into his box, After being at the half way line?

    Marveux= 6.67, That must be the total added game time, He played all season.

    Sissoko= 7.01, That must be total in days, Of how long it took Pardew to ruin his game.

    God you have to have a laugh!, Otherwise you would break down in tears lol.

  6. guterez and williamson if we can hold to them we will win the premiership next year!

  7. @workyticket:6
    like every other defender in the team got the blame when the finger should of been pointed at mr do no wrong collo and i think them stats are 1 in the eye for all the numptys that keep saying collos the best defender we ever had laughable in my view

  8. 1 or 2 peeps need to know when its time to sell a player and that time for me was last summer were collos concerned instead of let setament get in the way of the right decision

    June 2, 2013 at 2:55 pm

    like every other defender in the team got the blame when the finger should of been pointed at mr do no wrong collo”

    It seems to be Williamson who gets all of the blame, Toon. Colo is good on the floor, but not so much in the air, which is where Williamson comes in. If they’d have taken my advice back in January though, they’d have gone all out to get Jan Vertonghen, even if it took £12-13 million (Spurs got him for around £9.5 million). He’s good on the floor, good in the air, scores goals and guess what, he’s the best centre back in the Premiership now. ;-)

  10. @workyticket:simpson got it for a good while then williamson got it also,i seen peeps blameing williamson for things when it was blantly obvious collo was the dude to blame

  11. and towards the end of the season peeps were starting to blame taylor heres a thought peeps blame the right dude

  12. Worky

    FFS enough with the Williamson nonsense, we can all see for ourselves he’s not PL class, we don’t need any dodgy statistics.
    You seem to have started a thing with Williamson, that you have invested so much nonsense in you don’t know how to get out of it.
    Just let it go, as that’s what both the club and fans want for Williamson, to just let him go and rightly so.

  13. <<<<<<<<<<,, this dude here lost count of the times the dude collo was surpose to be picking up scored the goal

  14. if you want to do stats to back ya point up look at how many times williamson dude scored against us then look at how many collos dude scored against us the proffs in the pudding

    June 2, 2013 at 3:25 pm

    “@workyticket:simpson got it for a good while then williamson got it also,i seen peeps blameing williamson for things when it was blantly obvious collo was the dude to blame2

    Toon, I divven’t knaa but I think that some get it for not being foreign or “exotic” enough nowadays, unless they hold a Geordie passport like Taylor of course but even that doesn’t work for Shola.

    June 2, 2013 at 3:47 pm

    “if you want to do stats to back ya point up look at how many times williamson dude scored against us then look at how many collos dude scored against us the proffs in the pudding”

    I’ve looked at stuff like defender errors leading to shots and defender errors leading to goals. In terms of errors that lead to goals our most error prone defenders are Santon and Coloccini with 3 and 2 respectively. For Williamson it’s a big, fat 0.

    However, the foreigners are more “glamourous” than boring old Mike from Portsmouth so they get away with it and Williamson acts as a scapegoat, just as Simpson did before him. People are so superficial nowadays.

  16. It’s rumored we are interested in Celtic’s Wanynama ?
    It has also been mentioned Celtic are eager to take our two youngsters (Paul Dummett & Connor Newton) on loan.
    I’m not sure how good these kids are, but I know Wanyama is destined to be a big name player.
    Being we have done business (Forster) recently and have a decent relationship with the club.
    What about a trade plus cash deal, that would possibly interest a SPL side with limited funds, in comparison to EPL sides.
    They cant hang on to him in any case and he will go this summer, just the way it is.
    The guy (Waynama) can defend, bring the ball forward and gets his goals, makes Tiote look like the 3.5 million player he is.
    Possibly be one of the best deals we could make.

  17. If players aren’t exotic enough at Newcastle United, they need to shout and point alot to win over the fans, even if it means bugger all!

  18. seen a story yesterday about toon about to pay 10 million for an 18 year old kid,and then loan him back lol finds that preety hard to beleive meself

    June 2, 2013 at 4:09 pm

    “seen a story yesterday about toon about to pay 10 million for an 18 year old kid,and then loan him back lol finds that preety hard to beleive meself”

    You mean Mark Douglas gannin’ on in the Journal about that Will Hughes? So long as people click on the ads, it doesn’t matter whether it’s bollocks or not.

  20. “Although Mathieu Debuchy had to pip Danny Simpson for his place on the right hand, I think it’s fair to say that Santon has had little competition on the left, especially so with two major injuries to Ryan Taylor, who Santon replaced as the club’s primary left back.”

    Little competition except for Haidara Worky?(who actually got the highest stat-even higher than ‘Super’ Mike Williamson? ;)

    How’d you miss that mate? :D

  21. whats happened to the blog worky got to put the address in every post now lol :(

  22. GeordieDan says:
    June 2, 2013 at 4:17 pm

    “Little competition except for Haidara Worky?(who actually got the highest stat-even higher than ‘Super’ Mike Williamson?”

    Dan, as I pointed out in the brief part about the Europa League team, divven’t take the ratings and the other stuff in that one too seriously as there simply isn’t enough data to make it reliable. The Premier League is a different matter though and that’s the important one.

    I’m sure that Haidara will be great and he’s a talented player. However, don’t forget that he was brought in as a youngster in January. Next season could well be a different matter though.

    June 2, 2013 at 4:18 pm

    “whats happened to the blog worky got to put the address in every post now lol”

    Toon, did you delete your cookies or something like that? Or are you having login problems?

  24. @workyticket:
    knowing me ive prob deleted the cookies,thought you change the blog for a minute there was just about to get the banners out protesting for the old blog back lmao :)

    June 2, 2013 at 4:28 pm

    knowing me ive prob deleted the cookies,thought you change the blog for a minute there was just about to get the banners out protesting for the old blog back lmao”

    Toon, were you gannin’ to “boycoutt” the site once you got your bed sheets out? :-)

    What browser are you using? You should be able to delete your cookies without losing the form data in future if you untick that option in your “tools” / “Internet options” section.

  26. The vote on player of the season was a bit difficult, as we have five actual team members who only played half a season.
    And others Marveaux and Anita who got little time.
    Others like HBA were out through injury.
    I voted for Yanga-M’Biwa, who I think has a big future and who adapted quickly, though I was also impressed by Sissoko and Gouffran, not to mention Haidara, who though still a youngster has IMO lots of potential.
    Santon has shown great ability to get forward, but needs a partner who can cover defensively and i’m not sure LB is his best position, as he reminds me of Jonas, cutting to-wards the middle to get the ball onto his good foot, perhaps he should play at RB, or in midfield ?
    Collo seems to have lost a step and appears determined to go home, well he can go and take Jonas with him as far as I am concerned, both having had good careers here, but time is catching up on them.
    Cisse has had a difficult time, an opportunist, without opportunities, not receiving the right support and could have had a number of more goals, were it not for dodgy offside calls or poorly timed passes.
    Like most i’m sorry they let Simpson go, who has been a steady defender, stupid!
    If we are to bring in some quality to replace both those that are on the market and the others who may attract a price Ashley cant refuse, then we had better start lining up our ducks and not end up like last summer.
    So Williamson,
    Amalfitano (the wrong Amalfitano apparently)
    IMO are all expendable and though may not garner a lot in transfer fees, certainly lighten up the wage bill.

    In turn we could recall, Dummatt and Newton, plus Campbell, Ferguson and Sammy A. and give opportunities to young Bigirimana, who looks like the real deal.

    But we also need an additional striker or someone who can play behind like a Shane Long, or De Jong.
    Plus a decent central defender, with the six four Brasilian Douglas a free agent, could solve a number of problems, at both ends of the pitch.

  27. @chuck:
    agrees with most of ya sell list would leave tiote off that list meself .Douglas signed for a russian team the other day :(

  28. tiote and sissoko will go head to head for the defensive midfielder slot next season so tiote will have to up his game to get in the team

  29. Hmmm! he did eh !
    Sorry to hear that, but we do need a third CD and Perhaps two, as we are light in that area and we all know how many injuries this club has on an annual basis.

    Tiote ?
    Nah ! he has been given enough opportunities to improve his game, but in many circumstances ends up as a liability.
    Point is, for a DM, yeah he puts his foot in, but he has yet to figure how and when.
    His distribution has not improved, a quick pass to Cabaye, or whoever is open nearby.
    Never looks for the long defense splitting pass.
    Does’nt score and as I said, will never really progress.
    Michael Essien his hero, he aint.
    But i’m sure some one can use him.
    But compare him to Victor Waynama and he doesn’t look so good.

  30. tiote will be a lot better when we aint siting deep all the time,things will click into place once we get 2 cb in and both collo and williamson gone both woefully lacking in pace

  31. i really think it was a mistake not offering ba an improved contract! DL is useless for putting a 7 million release clause in his contract! now we have to shell out 10 million plus for a new striker plus wages. well done DL you d1ck head

  32. <<<<<<<<<<< dos not want mr ba back meself,hes had his chance in my view and thought the grass was greener at chelsea,whos ganna pay 10 million for a ticking timebomb

  33. Most tackles, most tackles won, most ground duels, most ground duels won, most crosses, most crosses in open play, most accurate crosses in open play, most fouls won – all Jonas Gutierrez.

  34. Demba Ba left for more money and for a club in the champions league. He left to win trophy’s and a club with more ambition than us. Ashley’s a cheap skate and it does more harm than good! i would have Ba back tomorrow, ticking timebomb my arse.

  35. Worky
    And what are Jonas’s stats on crosses and goal scoring, which is what my hero bobby Mitchel excelled in, he was a real left winger, besides being a great entertainer.
    My point is Jonas is useless in the left winger role, he’s not a good left back and has failed as a DM, which is where I suggested playing him.
    So what do you do with a guy like that ?
    When one compares Jonas on left wing to Mitchell, Ginola and Robert, face it he falls flat, unless their is a new role i’m unaware of, defensive winger, but I believe that’s an oxymoron.

  36. Ba or Remy, both proven goal scorers, would take either one, if available.
    Hell you don’t have to like the guy on a personal level, or agree with everything he sez.
    Just as long as he’s doing the job he was hired for.

  37. Army

    When he’s not sitting deep (Tiote)?
    What are you gonna do partner him with Cisse, put him on the wing, replace either Sissoko, Cabaye or Gouffran with him.
    Maybe he’s the new HBA ?
    FFS that’s why the club bought him, to sit in front of the back four.

  38. chuck says:
    June 2, 2013 at 7:13 pm

    And what are Jonas’s stats on crosses and goal scoring”

    Try reading my comment, Chuck, the bit where I wrote:

    “most crosses, most crosses in open play, most accurate crosses in open play…”

  39. @chuck
    the team shapes built on ya 2 cbs they siting so deep its unbelieveable why tiote so deep or are you to dim to figure that 1 out

  40. were is tiote postion if ya def is camp out along the half way line chuck

  41. Worky

    Did you by any chance watch the England vs ROI game,
    Did’nt mean to put you off.
    However, my point is, there are certain clubs who ‘s management, saw the writing on the wall, as far as signing English managers are concerned.
    Mainly those who decided not to go after the retreads and instead take a chance on a younger guy, with ideas of how to-days game should be played.
    On watching the England game under Woy, you could very well have been watching an England side of fifteen years ago, same game, same retread manager.
    It’s this conservative approach that never changes, which is the reason the country never wins anything.
    I gotta laugh when Stoke replaced Pulis with Sparky, WTF is the difference FFS ?
    Look I know why BSA is at West Ham, to keep them in the PL and have access to the money there and one could say the same for Ashley and Pardew, but Ashley realized he was primarily to blame for last seasons big scare and decided to give him another shot, playing route one and a safe passage through the season.
    Though you could say goodbye to any chance of winning anything.
    I may be giving Ashley too much credit on that, but if he really wants a decent side, he has to dump this retread who knows only one way to play the game and hire a manager who understands the modern game and it wouldn’t cost anymore, well maybe a million or two, but what about the rewards of winning.
    If Martinez doesn’t get the Everton job (now there’s a smart owner, always hired good managers) we would do well to snap him up, now we don’t have to deal with Whelan.
    But we both know that’s not gonna happen, too bad

  42. Army

    Could you try using the English language please, I apologize if it’s your a second language, but I have difficulty understanding what you are attempting to say.

  43. Worky

    Among the footballing cognoscenti, crosses, for the most part indicate, balls sent into the oppositions box area, usually by wingers, of which Jonas is usually penciled in as.
    Anyone on this blog can tell you regardless of your bullshit stats (this is not Baseball FFS) that Jonas is one of the worst crossers of the ball the club has ever had.
    First you claim Williamson is a good DM (which is why he hasn’t had a game all year) now you are claiming Jonas is a great crosser of the ball.
    C’mon now lets get real here.

  44. @chuck:
    which parts is to difficult for you to grasp or do you not understand what team shape means

  45. Army

    Yeah actually I do understand team shape, but does Pardew ?
    There are times when there are gaps between both Cisse and the midfield, or both Cisse the midfield and the back four.
    Making it easy for the opposition to exploit those gaps.
    But of course this is part and parcel of tactics 101.
    Which I doubt Pardew has ever read.
    Why both he and our coaches don’t realize this is beyond me.
    Is there any doubt in anyone’s mind, having witnessed, our usual second half collapse, why that is ?
    It’s because his outdated tactics have usually been sussed and countermeasures have been taken by the opposition.
    There of course are variations of team shape, take Barcelona where there are six players who are involved in the attacking role, which can be somewhat chaotic in appearance, who may be joined be four defenders, or vice versa, employing forwards to defend.
    So team shape is not always three lines lined up geometrically one behind the other.
    Team shape is understanding where to be on the pitch at the right time.
    Team shape is not leaving Cisse all alone, doing nothing isolated up front , without any real support.
    Team shape is not leaving big gaps between the midfield and the back four to be exploited, by quick counter attacks.
    There is absolutely no cohesion, between the side, no real compactness and it’s all down to poor coaching and management.
    Were it not for the fact our recent recruits are glad to be earning a bit more than in France and paying less taxes, i’m sure they would be all looking for an exit.
    But if Pardew continues with his outdated tactical scenario, they will quickly tire of things and be looking for that door.
    Can someone explain this to Ashley, or does he care ?

  46. chuck says:
    June 2, 2013 at 8:06 pm

    “First you claim Williamson is a good DM (which is why he hasn’t had a game all year) now you are claiming Jonas is a great crosser of the ball.
    C’mon now lets get real here.”

    Chuck, I didn’t say that Williamson was a good defender or a bad defender, and I never said that Gutierrez was a great crosser or a bad crosser, I merely pointed to statistics on both players which indicate they make a significant contribution to the team in certain areas. This particular blog isn’t about the blinkered, closeminded prejudice you and quite a few other fans seem to prefer in making your judgements, it’s about statistics.

    June 3, 2013 at 10:11 am

    “laughable hold all the cards my butt”

    So he’s on £100,000 per week now? :-)

    Actually, no. He’s on £65,000 per week plus bonuses.

  48. Well if the article in today’s Journal is to be believed, We are only after two players, A Centre half, And a Striker.
    The Buzz Word being used is, “Quality over Quantity”.
    I’ve kind of always thought that would be the pay off, To Pardew keeping his job.
    That he takes it up the ring piece, Yet again, By “The Brother’s Grimm”!
    He is kept short yet again, But is grateful that he didn’t get sacked, And that without Europe to compete in, He can hopefully have a season, Which will make him look better than he is, And not stretch his obvious limitations!
    Another thing i thought they would cite, Would be their business in January, And that being most of their deals done.

    If this is true, It looks like the two lard heads, Are going to gamble on the clubs future again.
    Even if Pardew gets his two players, I honestly cannot see it making one bit of difference, If the continue to use players like, Jonas & Obertan, The front men will be living on scraps.
    If this scenario unfolds, It is a knocking bet Pardew will struggle, And he will pay the price, And the two Eejits, Will take us to the depths of despair!

  49. @joe hawkins
    thinks we need 2 cbs, plus 2 strikers meself, and any1 sold also needs replaceing with a better quality player

    June 3, 2013 at 10:45 am

    “can not stick this dude meself big mouthed yob”

    Maybe, toon, but all he’s doing is saying there is saying something nice about Bobby Robson. Whoever wrote that incredibly dishonest and misleading headline is a disgrace.

  51. Can anyone explain why we are (allegedly) getting an 18 year old player for £10m, who will be loaned back to the selling club for next season, given that the need is for players now?

    Nowt wrong with getting in young prospects but for that sort of fee we could probably get team ready players for the immediate future.

    Bridcutt of Brighton is one that springs to mind for starters. Got to be many more.

    Incidentally is the transfer window open, seems to be a lot of wheeling and dealing happening already. Or have I missed some change in system? Your 337 comment is confusing my aged brain. :)

  52. Grumpy, they have to wait until July 1st to actually do the deals, but I believe they can announce things beforehand.

    That story about Will Hughes is probably just the usual guff.

  53. Toonarmyelite, I’m not saying anything, Don’t shoot the messenger!, This is what the Journal are reporting.
    Me personally, I think we need 4 or 5 quality signings, Including a Centre half and a Striker.

  54. This story about Hughes is pie in the sky!, We are not a club who are in a position to blow 10 million on a player, Then loan them out.
    Your lucky if Ashley spends 10 million on a player to slot straight into the first team set up!

  55. joe hawkins says:
    June 3, 2013 at 12:04 pm

    “Your lucky if Ashley spends 10 million on a player to slot straight into the first team set up!”

    Coloccini’s the only player he’s paid more than £10 million for.

  56. Worky, Even when we signed him, That money was off set, By the sale of James Milner.

  57. Joe, I remember that James Milner was another one of those who fans thought was a hard worker who, alas, had “no end product” and that we’d be better off replacing with better. Aston Villa got the best part of £25 million for him, around twice what we sold him for a couple of seasons earlier.

  58. Worky, That was the best i ever saw Jonas play in Black’n’White, When him and Milner worked together.
    Never mind, I’m still waiting for Sebastian Schweinsteiger, As his replacement!

  59. joe hawkins
    <<<<<<<<<<< hopeing that report is wrong not shooting the messenger bud :)

  60. Toonarmyelite, The article was in today’s Journal, Whether there’s any truth in the story, Only the almighty will know.
    You never know whether the Journal are creating a story out of the nature of Ashley and Llambias, And running with it.
    On the other hand, We all know only too well, What they are like, And the story does smack of their style of doing things.
    Players like Victor Wanyama for instance, Are Ashley’s sort of stamp.
    He signs any waif or stray, Who’s out of contract, Or coming to the end of one.
    He will also sign any injury prone player, just because they might have had a burgeoning rep beforehand, but now no club in their right mind, Will take a chance on them.
    He’s an “Owt for nowt, Giz a Shout” merchant!

  61. @Worky
    seen ya stats on jonas,meself i think his legs are going and he is defo short of pace to scare defs,just dont get the same buzz i used to get with him when he got the ball.But the stat i would most like to see is the grounded covered average for a game also from the season before

    June 3, 2013 at 1:40 pm

    “But the stat i would most like to see is the grounded covered average for a game also from the season before”

    Aye Toon, there was quite alot made of how Newcastle United players run further than other players in the Premiership some time ago as if this was a good thing. It mystified me because it’s actually a bad thing! That’s just about huffing and puffing up and down the pitch chasing the ball, getting tired and often picking up injuries along the way.

    Great teams let the ball do the work, pass to feet (preferably in the opponent’s half of the pitch) and conserve their energy for when it’s needed. They don’t burn themselves out constantly chasing shadows throughout the game. ;-)

  63. Worky

    When are you going to give it up ?
    The fact that everyone but yourself thinks Williamson is not up to par as a PL player, no matter what statistics you dredge up to try and support the claim he is a decent player, only maligned by those who don’t understand how good he is.
    Your one claim is he is good in the air, which is bullshit.
    The guys tall and for a tall guy should be better.
    What are his statistics as far as him scoring during set pieces ? nowt !
    Which kinda blows Pardews theory, we lack a tall guy in the box, which is why we have been unsuccessful in scoring from set pieces.
    His distribution, consists of wellying the ball upfield or out of play, he had a tendency to go to ground, (meaning you are beaten already)
    Is slow as molasses, his positional sense is poor.
    I mean C’mon, if the guy is so good, why did he not get games all season.

    And what’s this fascination with statistics ?
    We are all aware that the use of statistics can appear to prove both pro and con, depending on how you apply them.
    So for you to present statistics on this blog stating Jonas has a favorable crossing average, would falsely lead those who are unaware of the fact, he cant put in a decent cross to save his life, to actually believe he’s a great crosser of the ball.
    Then deny that’s what you intended to say, by hiding behind statistics,
    Oh ! I did,nt say he was a great crosser, all I did was to present the statistics.
    What you didn’t present was the statistic, the side was successful in only twenty something percent of attempted crosses.
    And give us a break with the statistics puleez, we are all quite capable of observing whats what, without some dumb ass, record keepers version of what’s going on.
    It’s like certain, color commentators, who during games continually explain the obvious.
    As opposed to others who present a more interesting tactical observation, that might have been missed by many.
    I mean if you were a scout, would you make a judgment by looking at a players statistics, or go see him play ?

  64. I kinda think the thirty five million for Carroll, installed a bug in Ashley’s head.
    The discovering and buying of youngsters who could be the next Gareth Bale, and selling them on for a tremendous profit.
    Have to say there are a few players currently in the squad, that could, if not right now, become quite profitable in the near future.
    Whether we hang onto the likes of Cabaye, HBA and possibly others, this summer, remains to be seen.
    Which begs the question, will this assembly line of cheap imports at one end resulting in expensive sell on’s at the other end, be able to continue.
    And if so , where’s the stability so often mentioned by the deadly duo/trio.
    The fact is we could become just another selling club, of course that would eliminate any chance of ever winning anything, or securing good players for any amount of time, in order to win something.
    It appears things are more or less static in the EPL, with the same wealthy clubs retaining the same top spots year in and out.
    Whereas any number of clubs would have began the season, feeling they had an opportunity to top the league or win the cup, back a few years ago.
    To expect a repeat of KK’s entertainers, who almost turned the PL upside down, is doubtful these days.
    it’s all about the money, init ?

  65. People signing and selling already but as usual we have no heard even a whimper.

  66. tunyc says:
    June 3, 2013 at 6:27 pm

    “So we’re picking the best turd in the bowl here. Basically.”

    tunyc, many years ago when I lived in a very nice town called Harrogate, I had a friend whose weird brother could do that (judge turds). He actually used to like looking at people’s stools, then he would tell them what was wrong with their diet. He wasn’t a doctor or a nutritionist at the time or anything like that, he was just bizarre.

  67. We are plumbing the depths now discussing turd inspectors
    In Germany the toilets are designed for you to do just that.
    I don’t believe I’m getting involved.Though there is a load of sh**e talked on here at times.

  68. The Japs take alot of beating for nettys, Nutmag. They’re like supercomputers that can pamper your arse in every way imaginable, and even some ways that are unimaginable too!

    You haven’t lived until you’ve had the full jet wash with all the extras!

  69. Worky
    Think I’ll quit before this subject gets out of hand.
    Football anyone?

  70. Chuck, I think the daft pricks days of big money departures are out of the window.
    His little cheap import business is dying on it’s arse!
    I think that’s why he’s trying to draw Anzi into making a bid for Cisse, Because i doubt he’ll get top whack for any of our other stock, So to speak.
    Anzi will be off their heads, If the part with 25 large for Cisse.
    Although it might be a good deal for Ashley, You can take it to the bank, Sorry no pun intended, That the fans will see nothing of it.
    Add to the fact that his little gimp Llambias, Shooting his mouth off about the Carroll deal, Will have clubs thinking twice about dealing with them.

  71. joe hawkins says:
    June 4, 2013 at 10:43 am

    “Add to the fact that his little gimp Llambias, Shooting his mouth off about the Carroll deal, Will have clubs thinking twice about dealing with them.”

    Aye Joe, the Llambiasgate tapes wouldn’t have helped in that area. Pardew certainly helped out last season too though, creating a style of football which made all the players look shite.

  72. Worky, I think this is another area where Ashley will ultimately fail.
    We have signed players like, Ben Arfa, Cabaye, Sissoko, Debuchy etc, Although these are good players, They are not the World Beaters, Maybe daft Ashley, Thinks they are.
    I doubt whether he will get any inflated offers, For any of these players services.
    Okay he might turn a small profit on them, But it won’t be mega bucks.
    That’s why i nearly p*ss myself when you hear Pardew whinging on about keeping his “Stars”.

    I think even if your trying to sign the stars of the future, You have to pay money for them.
    Clubs are not going to let these youngsters go for nothing, That’s for sure.
    That’s why i think Ashley and his cronies are either hoodwinking the fans again, Or they are just kidding and deluding themselves, I they think they are at that level of star spotting, And being able to conduct deals for these kids.
    The only way they may succeed in this area, Is if they stop with their stupid obsession with France, And branch out across the World.
    if they are serious about what they bang on about, Then why are they not tapping into places like, Argentina, Brasil, Countries in Africa, That’s where the talent is.
    The most them cheapskates will cough up for, Is a ticket through the Channel tunnel.
    These are the same set of cnuts, Who cannot get an A license, For their Academy.

  73. joe hawkins says:
    June 4, 2013 at 1:11 pm

    “The only way they may succeed in this area, Is if they stop with their stupid obsession with France, And branch out across the World.
    if they are serious about what they bang on about, Then why are they not tapping into places like, Argentina, Brasil, Countries in Africa, That’s where the talent is.”

    Joe, as I’ve mentioned before, Graham Carr is a creature of habit. He has a “beat” he does of clubs on and around the route of the Eurostar train. That stops in Calais, Lille, Paris, Brussels, Antwerp, Rotterdam, the Hague, Schiphol Airport and Amsterdam. However, it doesn’t stop anywhere near Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires, Dakar or Lagos.

    Don’t knock the players we have too hard until you see them playing for a better manager who isn’t Pardew.

  74. Worky, I’m not knocking our players as such, More Ashley’s deluded valuation for them, A la 25 million for Cisse, I cannot see anyone paying that amount.
    You would have thought the nature of Ashley, He would have been like a fly around s**t, Trawling through the favela’s of Rio, Looking for poor young’un’s kicking a stone around.

  75. Apparently Sourness has been putting the boot into us, In The Lancashire Gazette, Drums up memories of Arkwright and Granville, For some reason.
    Worst part of his management career was spent at Newcastle, According to him.
    Looking back now though, did he do that badly?, Or have we fallen that far, As a club?
    Because he looks Mourinhoesque along side Alan Scott Pardew, just looking at his stats on wiki, He’s fooken terrible, He’s lost as many as he’s won ffS.

  76. You never know, The next Pele could being lurking in that Den Of Inequity, Deckham!

  77. Good comments. Can’t disagree with much of what Joe says at #84…though I do suspect we’ll see a few of these guys leave at some point and show they’re much better players in a different system.

  78. Well you can forget all the speculation concerning who we may or may not sign.
    Apparently the word has been put out that it’s a striker and a CD, with perhaps a stab at bringing in a one for the future.
    Seems the CD is available on a Bosman, currently at Reading.
    I must say i’m astonished, that we should be going after anyone who’s available for nowt.
    God only knows who we are looking at for the Striker role, but you could be fairly safe in eliminating anyone over six or seven big ones.
    Don’t know why we can’t take another shot at Remy, guys got a track record of being a scorer, but then so did Cisse, before Pardew isolated him up front, with little or no support.
    So what are his plans if or when we get an additional striker, back to 4-4-2 ?
    Actually I wonder just how much input Pardew has in the who and why of player recruitment.
    Anyhow ! that’s it, two new players, it seems that Sissoko was penciled in to arrive this summer, but the panic was so great, he was brought in early.
    Oh! the CD’s name is Alex Pearce, a recently capped ROI CD, (this is our + six footer who will take care of our small problem on set pieces, no doubt) supposedly decent and was rumored that Rodgers was looking at him, but I guess he would get more playing time, were he to sign for Newcastle.
    It seems Pardew having been with West Ham wanted their ex-England U21 CD Tomkins, but BSA nixed that one, thank goodness.
    Thing is, the down side to Bosman signings, is they usually want a higher pay check and we had a decent defender in Simpson, he too wanted a better deal…

  79. In addition to Simpson, it’s rumored both Tiote and super sub, Perch could be on their way, not to mention sick note Gosling and the indominable (Worky) favorite, defender Williamson.
    None of who would be missed much IMO.
    But that leaves a not too large squad, I suppose Ashley has (now we have survived the drop) forgotten about how his failure to strengthen the side this time last year, got us into a hole.
    Which were it not for QPR giving us a freeby, could well have happened.
    Course as wor Alan said recently, he’s happy to not have any European competition to concern himself with.
    You could fill a book with this guys faux pas !
    And still a slow learning curve @NUFC..

  80. Chuck, this isn’t Ed’s Uziblog. At least 90% of those rumours, possibly even 100% will be absolute bollocks.

    Bearing in mind that Llambias lies 100% of the time and he said “we were never after Bony” I don’t think it’s beyond the bounds of possibility that the club might make a move for him. However, their opening gambit will probably be £12.50.

  81. Right. So we’re talking transfer rumors and feces…yep, probably equally worth paying attention to…

  82. tunyc says:
    June 4, 2013 at 8:11 pm

    “Right. So we’re talking transfer rumors and feces”

    tunyc, that’s a tautology as transfer rumours ARE faeces.

  83. Could be worse, tunyc. I had a Spinal Tap style “bizarre gardening accident” today and I’ve broken something in my foot.

    So, if any of you regular readers are wondering why I’m even slower than normal with the blogs 1: I’ve been clearing the jungle at the back of my place and 2: I’m now doped up to the eyeballs with a throbbing, purple foot!

  84. workyticket says:
    June 4, 2013 at 10:57 pm

    “I’m now doped up to the eyeballs with a throbbing, purple foot!”

    I think we’ve just found our new CD people.

  85. Gardening injury? I hope it didn’t involve the lawnmower or any other motorized implement with blades…

  86. tunyc, it involved trying to break a huge branch propped against a wall like Bruce Lee, then bouncing off it ike a total idiot. I didn’t realise how bad it was so I went and had another go with more success. However, a few seconds after the pain started to kick in and got worse and worse until I couldn’t walk without screaming “ARGHH!” with every step.

    I also forgot that the shoes I was wearing at the time were very lightweight, a bit like those Converse plimsoll type things. I was wearing much beefier ones when I was breaking branches before that.

  87. Worky, you’ve got to watch what your doing, It’s easy done, Giving yourself serious injuries.
    You’ll not be able to trap a bag of cement for a while, And your dancing shoes, Will have to go into mothballs!

  88. joe hawkins says:
    June 5, 2013 at 4:50 pm

    “Worky, you’ve got to watch what your doing, It’s easy done, Giving yourself serious injuries.”

    Joe, with my dodgy past, which has led me to my current decrepit state, I should know that better than anyone!

  89. Haven’t heard anything from Alan in a while now, I’m starting to get withdrawal symptoms. My brain hurts less for a start.

  90. Lets change the tune of this a little, Why do people seem to love Santon so much? He makes so many clear mistakes and his positioning is awful. 2nd in player of the season!?!

  91. I can’t wait for next seasons 4-4-2 with Debuchey being horribly exposed by HBA on the right, Santon running down the left, cutting inside and then losing the ball. Tiote and Cabaye standing still in the middle of the park, one struggling to pass five yards and the other punting it 45 yards to Cisse, who’ll be demoralized standing in an offside position. Jonas buzzing around like a fly twatting a closed window trying to get free, only to rarely win a free-kick for Cabaye to smash over everybody’s head into the stands. Gouffran to run up and down the channels only to be replaced by Shola, while Gosling gets warmed up ready for action and Anita sits on the bench twiddling his thumbs. Above all though, I can’t wait for Alan to stand there, writing in his notepad while Carver looks over his shoulder at a picture of a foot hoofing a football into a goal, waiting for the unlikely event of a chance to fist pump away.

  92. Jimbob says:
    June 5, 2013 at 6:48 pm

    “Lets change the tune of this a little, Why do people seem to love Santon so much?”

    Jimbob, we bought him from Internazionale and when he was a bairn, Marcelo Lippi once said he had something of Paulo Maldini about him and Mourinho said something similar once and called him “Il Bambino”. That was before he left Inter horribly exposed in a big game and fell out of favour with the special one too. These are the kinds of things which guide the prejudices of many fans one way or the other.

  93. Jimbob
    You’ve just described me recurring nightmare.Now I’ll have to go back into therapy will never end!!

  94. Little Vurn’s a lovely little player if you watch him closely. His technique is great and he really knows how to cross a ball too. He isn’t big enough for Pardew’s version of Stoke though.

  95. Haha sorry Nutmag, I’d love to say I’m only joking with that comment, but unfortunately I’m not. It will happen :)

  96. I don’t rate him as a left-back. Offers nothing in attack or defence. Perhaps he’s not a defender, and should be given at least a few goes on either flank. If he fails there, then get a defensive coach in as I wouldn’t trust Pardew to teach him how to defend.

    Yeah I’d go as far to say Vern’s one of our most technically gifted players, a long with Marveaux. Vern’s certainly more consistently able to perform over Cabaye and Ben Arfa. He gets his head up and does the simple things well, where as those two try and do something out of the norm too often. People remember HBA’s solo goals or Cabayes free-kicks, but in percentage terms, they only happen about 5% of the time, 95% of the time they either lose possession or hit the stands. When we finished 5th those percentages were reversed, a long with a few other pieces of individual brilliance. Didn’t have that rub of the green this season. It’s what Pardew gambles on, until he coaches whatever ability a player has out of them, and their belief.

  97. worky: Bruce Lee style gardening?!

    Yep, we all have that occasional experience that reminds us we’re not 17 years old anymore…

    jimbob @ 105: I’m glad someone else said it. I don’t get it either, but then I like fullbacks who can defend. Really hoping Haidara pushes/displaces him because I count him as a defensive liability. The “new Maldini”, he ain’t.

  98. If I was Laudrup or another good manager, I’d have seen enough of Anita to make a bid. He’d do wonders with a real man-manager and one that’s tactically astute.

  99. Jimbob @ 113: Ashley’s hoping for Mourinho or Pellegrini to decide the same and come in with a stupid bid…but it’s probably not likely until Vurn gets a few games, you know?

  100. Yeah Tunyc agreed on both your posts. Enrique was the best full-back we’ve had in years. Had everything, strong, quick and could defend and attack. Haidara’s raw at the moment but I can see potential. Pardew will soon ruin him though. Just like he blamed him for pushing on too much versus Liverpool. What a knob.

  101. I have a soft spot for Warren Barton too :) Met him on a train on the way down south after we drew with Leicester 3-3 at St James’ Park. Some guy was pissed up after a wedding and chatted to me about the football. I was only a young boy at the time and he asked me which was the best goal in the game. I said it was John Beresford’s equalizer in the 90th minute. It was a long cross-field pass and he headed it into the far corner. I think that season Beresford scored quite a few from left-back including a couple away in Kiev in the Champions League.

    Anyway, he told me Beresford was on the train. I didn’t believe him and thought it was a wind up so he took me a few carriages along and pointed someone out. I saw a curtains hairstyle but couldn’t tell from a distance, so he took me right up to him and said “Hi John this is my son, can he have your autograph”… It wasn’t Beresford it was Barton! “yeah sure, have you got a pen?” he said, and signed my programme. I told him it wasn’t Beresford and that it was Warren Barton, and he said in front of him “Oh I’m sorry, Barton’s really sh*t isn’t he?” :)

  102. Great story, Jimbob-one for the grandkids. Re: Enrique, I think he’s one of the most underrated PL players I’ve ever seen. Definitely the best fullback we’ve had in a long, long time.

  103. Jimbob says:
    June 5, 2013 at 9:07 pm

    “Enrique was the best full-back we’ve had in years. Had everything, strong, quick and could defend and attack.”

    That’s one thing I don’t understand. Quite a few fans still laugh at Enrique’s supposed stupidity at signing for Liverpool, pointing out how his career has supposedly plumetted since he signed for the Reds, how the grass isn’t always greener and various other cliches.

    Where does this guff come from? He’s their first choice left back and has played around 80 games in his two seasons at Liverpool. He’s a very highly valued player there by the coaches and the fans, has won a trophy and behind the likes of Ashley Cole and Leighton Baines, he is regarded as one of the very best left backs in the Premier League. He’s even played at the front too and wasn’t too shabby there either.

  104. Anyone got a link for the Kevin Keegan interview, With Sky Sports?, He’s supposed to be having a go at Ashley and Co!

  105. I’ll grant you Baines but I rate Enrique over Cole. Never been as impressed with him as most.

  106. tunyc says:
    June 6, 2013 at 11:51 am

    “I’ll grant you Baines but I rate Enrique over Cole. Never been as impressed with him as most.”

    Wor Cheryl Curl had to gan doon the clap clinic after seeing him. What a classy couple they were. He is a very good left back indeed though.

  107. Not saying he isn’t good but I’d select Baines over him and a couple others as well. (It is a shallow position, I admit.) He’s truly impressive in terms of pace but I’d trust Baines more to shackle an opposing player and still get forward effectively as well as take very good set pieces and be a real leader.

  108. I’ve always been a Baines fan, tunyc.

    Anyway, there will be an big blog on here later today, the conclusion of my epic odyssey into Pardew’s long balls.

    It’s the final countdown!

  109. Just had bit of a jolt saw this line “Michael Laudrup has repaced Alan Pardew” but it then continued “as early premier league sack race favourite”
    If only!

  110. Nutmag, there are tales that Swansea’s chairman, Huw Jenkins, won’t open the coffers to “take the club to the next level” as they say and apparently, Laudrup isn’t too pleased. He’s reassured Swansea fans that he isn’t going anywhere though.