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Newcastle United 2010-11: a season review


The Prophet
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With the season meandering to a close and everything apart from a final league position settled, I thought I'd have a reflect. Those expecting a thriller at West Brom may want to wait before contributing:

 

Overall reflections

 

What a ridiculous season. At times I've been sky high, at others rock bottom, it's really difficult to put into words what this year has meant. Looking at it objectively we're guaranteed a mid-table finish on our return to the top flight, we've never looked in any real danger of going down. Given the limitations of our squad, especially the lack of goal scoring pedigree it's nothing short of miraculous, regardless of how volatile the league has been.

 

High Moment

 

There's so many to choose from. If I was going to take a particular result it would have to be the 5-1 thrashing of the mackems. However, if we're talking individual moments it would have to be Tiote smashing in the equaliser against Arsenal. The side put us through the mill that game and to rescue a point with that goal was something special. I was bursting with pride.

 

Low Moment

 

I know a lot will say the sale of Carroll but for me I’ve never felt lower when Hughton left. It’s was the only point in the season I genuinely thought we might implode and sink into the relegation zone. Pardew has come in and done a great job, but the way a man who we owe so much to, was treat with such contempt still gets my angry to this day.

 

Best Player

 

Honorable shouts to Enrique, Tiote, Nolan and Barton but it simply has to be Colo. He’s had the odd blip but on the whole he’s been exceptional.  In everything he does he just oozes class, absolutely majestic.

 

Best Individual Performance

 

This season has been a complete team effort so I’m difficult to pick one particular performance. Colo, Enrique and Tiote have all had some absolute belters but for me I’d have to go with Ben Arfa against Everton. The lad looked an absolute touch of class, completely ran the show. I’ve never been so excited about a performance and a player in a long, long time.

 

Best Buy

 

Tiote, no question. Ben Arfa could turn out to be a top acquisition but to bring a player of Tiote’s caliber for absolute peanuts is bloody brilliant business. Exactly what we needed.

 

Most Improved

 

Simpson and Best have come on a ton, but Barton had a great season. People will say it is what we have come to expect from him but it doesn’t disguise the fact he’s improved massively. It could of been so easy for him to go on to become a Smith, Duff or [insert one of the numerous has been we’ve acquired over the years], but he’s really stepped it up this season. Long may it continue.

 

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Overall reflections

 

An amazing season, we have been involved in hammering teams, 6-0, 5-0 and winning 5-1 against our rivals, also add on that we have beaten Arsenal, then created the biggest ever comeback to earn a valuable point for us right on the back of the Carroll sale, and also we have beaten Chelsea at Stamford bridge, drew with them twice, taken points off Man Utd and Spurs, and beaten Liverpool as well as being unlucky not to take anything from our Man City games. We were also brought down to earth the the Hughton sacking, Carroll sale, bad defeats to Bolton and WBA, and the Stevenage game. However only the Hughton sacking brought us to our lowest point. Over all we have achieved more then our over all aim and anything we could have realistically expected.

 

High Moment

 

The 5-1 win was just totally unbelievable, but for a defining moment it was Tiote's goal which signalled that no matter what, this team won't just lie down.

 

Low Moment

 

The Hughton sacking, everything else we could argue against and say those things happen and £35m for Carroll was too much to turn down, but the Hughton sacking had no reason to be.

 

Best Player

Jose, Colo, Barton, Carroll (before he pissed off), and Nolan all have a good shout at it, but for me it has to be Tiote.

 

Best Individual Performance

 

Ben Arfa against Everton, he lived up to the hype and put on a display we couldn't ask for straight away but he did and he won us the game in a ground were recently we have done poorly in.

 

Best Buy

 

Tiote, Ben Arfa could be a better signing in the future but his season was destroyed by his horrible injury, so it has to go to Tiote.

 

Most Improved

 

Barton, Best comes close but hasn't had enough games to make it and capitalise on Carrolls sale, but Barton without a doubt.

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Overall reflections

 

Been canny

 

High Moment

 

The 5-1

 

Low Moment

 

Carroll sale

 

Best Player

 

Colo

 

Best Individual Performance

 

Nolan Vs Mackems

 

Best Buy

 

Tiote

 

Most Improved

 

Simpson

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Overall reflections

 

What a ridiculous season. At times I've been sky high, at others rock bottom,

 

Really? Struggling to think when I've felt 'rock bottom' this season, even the uncertainty surrounding Hughton's departure was tempered by the fact we'd thrashed the mackems 5-1, won at Arsenal and already had a decent number of points in the bag.

 

The 'worst' part was probably the Stevenage match. We were abject, suffered abysmal performances from under-motivated players (something I thought we'd eradicated with the new team morale and attitude around the club) and we managed to throw Tiote on and get him banned for 3 league matches.

 

:dave:

 

Losing 3-1 away to WBA was pretty dismal too, we were awful.

 

Getting tonked 5-1 at Bolton wasn't as bad (mitigating circumstances), nor was the 4-0 thrashing at Stoke...we played fairly well but got punished for sloppy individual mistakes.

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Overall reflections

 

Very respectable season, although obviously with massive ups and downs. All I wanted was not to be shitting myself in April/May, and the team have delivered that. If it wasn't for the extreme  lows (especially for me the Carroll sale) I would put the season down as excellent.

 

High moment

 

Tiote's goal was immense and probably the best few seconds, but I'm going to say the Villa thrashing. For me it was when we proved that we could compete back in the Premier League and the season to come wasn't just going to be a long succession of disappointments and defeats.

 

Low moment

 

Without a doubt the Carroll sale... I refused to believe he would go up until the last second. Terrible feeling and I'll never feel the same about a player again, he proved that it's impossible to be certain any player has a loyalty to their club. The blessing is he hasn't done anything since.

 

Best player

 

For consistency I would say Colocinni. Tiote runs him close.

 

Best Individual Performance

 

Hard one, I don't remember individuals as much as I should. For a memorable performace, have to go for Ben Arfa v Everton.

 

Best Buy

 

As everyone has said, could turn out to be Ben Arfa but at the moment it's Tiote.

 

Most Improved

 

I would go with Simpson, as he started from a very low base IMO and has come on a lot. Barton has also been his best ever for us, but we knew he had it in him all along.

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Guest palnese

 

Overall reflections

 

Great season, albeit a turbulent one, as usual.

 

High Moment

 

There's a few. Tiote's goal vs Arsenal, Ben Arfa vs Everton. 5-1, 6-0.

 

Low Moment

 

Carroll has submitted a transfer request.

 

Best Player

 

Colo, Barton or Tiote. They all deserve it.

 

 

Best Individual Performance

 

Tiote vs Arsenal away.

 

Best Buy

 

Tiote

 

Most Improved

 

Hmm.. Simpson or Barton. We all knew Barton had the ability, but Simpson looked shite in the CCC.

 

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Overall reflections

 

Done really well considering the inevitable soap opera every season. A real sense of determanation in the side, something we havn't had for years. Really happen with this current crop, think the club has genuinely gotten under their skin. The icing would be put on the cake if we could finish in the top half.

 

High moment

 

Nolan scoring his third against the Mackems to make it 5. After the abuse they had hoyed at us for 18 month, that felt so, so sweet. The noise in the stadium is something that will live with me forever.

 

Low moment

 

Hughton getting sacked, me convinced we were going to get Kinnear back. Really feared relegation then. Fair play to Pardew though :thup:

 

Best player

 

Coloccini by a million miles. As I said yesterday, our most important player bar none.

 

Best individual performance

Carroll v Villa. The game when we all knew he was going to be a special player. The big greasy bastard.

 

Best buy

 

Perch obviously.

 

Most improved

 

Tough one, between Simpson and Barton.

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Guest BlacknWhiteArmy

 

Overall reflections

Very happy to be honest. We've had lows but the highs have been unbelievable.

 

High Moment

 

Sunderland 5-1, closely followed by the 4-4. The 6-0 gets forgotten but that was an exceptional result. Villa may have been piss poor but despite that, we all realised on that day we could compete in this division and had the players to do it.

Low Moment

 

The gutless 3-1 defeat to West Brom and the sacking of Hughton just after it.

 

Best Player

 

Cheik Tiote. I said Barton before and he's been utterly class, but where would we be without Tiote? Alan Smith as  our DM for the season- not worth thinking about.

 

Best Individual Performance

 

Barton against Liverpool. Controlled the game from that right wing. Barton against Arsenal is also up there.

 

Best Buy

 

Tiote. One of the best in the league and we're lucky to have him.

 

Most Improved

 

Simpson. At the time when right back was a problem area, he came in and filled it- turned into a steady, reliable place from a player who looked Championship standard last season.

 

 

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Overall reflections

 

Never known a season like it. There have been terrible lows and yet overall its been a very good, largely enjoyable season.

 

High Moment

 

We've had way over our fair share this season. Aston Villa, West Ham, Liverpool and of course the Arsenal comeback and the Destruction of the mackems. Tiotes goal nearly killed me whereas the s*nderland game had me pinching myself to check I wasn't dreaming. Had nolan scored against arenal right at the death I'd say that game, however 5-1 against sunderland really meant alot.

 

Low Moment

 

For me it was when Carroll left. I was just so disapointed and it felt like the breakup of the team the got us up was starting to happen. As for Hughtons departure, it was an absolutley ruthless management decision. Something we will not get the chance to find out if it were the right one or not. We all felt it was wrong, all the players felt it was wrong, but whether is turns out to be a good one or not.. whos knows.

 

Best Player

 

It seems unfair to pick a best player. Especially as everyone has had spells of form. Enrique was immense for the larger part of the first half of season, Barton and Tiote have been solid in midfield and nolan has scored loads of goals. I'd give it to Colo for simply being the most consistant out of all of them. Very pleased that the 8m price tag is continually looking more and more justified.

 

Best Individual Performance

 

Colo against Arsenal at the emirates. Our defensive display that day was just unreal with Colo leading the way.

 

Best Buy

 

Tiote. Could only be between him and Ben Arfa and since arfa was crocked there is no doubt. The only thing I noticed Tiote for in the WC was him nearly breaking Elanos leg, I really didnt see a good player. And yet hes come here and has played a role in midfield of which we havn't had in so long.

 

Most Improved

 

Depends when we're counting from. If its from day one of the season till now I'd say Barton. Yes we all knew he was good but this injury free season has really seen him get better and better. Last few weeks hes been absolutley quality. Another mention would go to Jonas who has also really started to look like the player we saw on his Man U debut. Long may that continue

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Overall reflections

At the end of the day, we're Newcastle United. You expect the highest highs followed by the lowest lows, yet this season managed to take that to even more extremes. Honestly man, what an absolutely mental season. It'll take some topping!

 

High Moment

The one that always comes to mind is Tiote's equaliser in the 4-4. But I keep underrating the 5-1, which at the time felt like the greatest thing that had ever happened.

 

Low Moment

Can't pick between Hughton and Carroll. To this day I don't understand why they got rid and I don't think I ever will....that day was full of shellshock. Selling Carroll represented the moment where I lost faith with all footballers. Whilst the money was obscene, is it a crime to want your local 'next big thing' centre forward to stay? I still haven't come to terms with it, really.

 

Best Player

It's Tiote, but Colo and Barton have been simply magnificent for us too. Those three have got us to where we are. Lets hope Tiote's flaw keeps the elite clubs away.

 

Best Individual Performance

Ben Arfa at Goodison was magical. After the draining transfer saga, there was no way he could meet the hype. Yet he did. My jaw was permanently on the floor and I don't know if I can physically wait until August to see him return.

 

Best Buy

As others have said, its must be Tiote. But HBA would've made it interesting if it wasn't for that thug De Jong.

 

Most Improved

Whilst Simpson had a really good spell recently, I don't think he's the most improved. Jonas has been great lately but for the majority was his normal, frustrating self. Best had finally made his mark when injury struck. So that leaves Barton, who truly has been one of the best English midfielders this season and his attitude really resonates with the fans. It's great to see so many players up for this category.

 

 

 

What a season  :clap:

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Overall reflections

Been brilliant mostly, many highs a few lows but most enjoyable prem season for us probably since Sir Bob was manager

High Moment

The 6-0 vs Aston Villa, just set the tone for the season in my book that this group of lads (to borrow from Hughton) meant business and were determined to prove themselves as Premier League players. Tiotes goal vs Arsenal also up there for sheer joy of the ridiculousness of football and why I love the game and this daft club.

 

Low Moment

 

While the Carroll sale is high up there, the 3-1 away to West Brom was pretty fucking abysmal as the relegation fears came into play followed by sacking of Hughton the next day. De Jong on HBA also worth a mention.

 

Best Player

Nolan, plenty of candidates but not only as a player but also as the Captain, hes been absolutely brilliant 12 goals from a midfielder is superb and his leadership ability is often overlooked, great ambassador for the club.

 

Best Individual Performance

 

Barton vs Liverpool, pulled all the strings in that game

 

Best Buy

 

Tiote. Been absolutely brilliant for us from day one and such an improvement on Smith

 

Most Improved

 

Tough one, for me its Danny Simpson many were unsure if he was good enough but hes done rather well.

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Low Moment

 

While the Carroll sale is high up there, the 3-1 away to West Brom was pretty fucking abysmal as the relegation fears came into play followed by sacking of Hughton the next day. De Jong on HBA also worth a mention.

 

 

Actually that whole Man City game is a good shout. I couldn't believe what I was seeing - totally robbed and our most exciting new signing injured for the season.

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Aye, De Jong's tackle - while we didn't realise at the time - was pretty bad.

 

Can't understand where all of these melodramatists are getting their "extreme lowest of the lows" from :lol: mental

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Overall reflections

A crazy season.  I can't remember another promoted club that has stuffed an established team 6-0, thumped their rivals 5-1 and fought back from 0-4 down against Arsenal, while also putting in some fairly shoddy performances against those around them.

 

High Moment

The 5-1, followed by the 4-4, then the 6-0.

 

Low Moment

The utter s**** that was WBA away, followed by the sacking of CH, especially given that the majority of fans still backed him.  Selling Carroll comes second for obvious reasons, given the form he was in and the fact we had only a few hours to replace him.

 

Not particularly a 'low moment' but looking back, losing at home to Blackpool, Blackburn and Stoke, and only getting draws vs. Wigan and Fulham.  I know hindsight is a wonderful thing and you can say 'well getting a win/draw against so and so was a bonus' but the possible extra 11 points would have us sitting in 7th right now and would have made the season remarkable.

 

Best Player

Tiote's been a revelation for us, but Colo has been consistent all season.  A real class act.

 

Best Individual Performance

I was in the US for Everton away and didn't see it, so I don't feel I can say HBA based on about 10 mins of highlights.  Barton has put in some excellent shifts, particularly against Liverpool and Arsenal.

 

Best Buy

Tiote, obviously.

 

Most Improved

Barton.

 

Simpson has done better than we all expected and Best has shown promise.  However, since he signed in 2007, we've heard Barton talk the talk on a number of occasions, but now he's finally starting to walk the walk.

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In brief - unbelievable highs and believable lows. More positives than negatives and a solid footing to build on for next year.

 

It has probably been the most entertaining season for nearly 10 years imo. Briefly fell back in love with the club in a way I hadn't since I was a kid  :smitten:

 

As ever, I hope we're as unpredictable next year. Really, really love not knowing what's around the corner. Bollocks to "stability".

 

(Special mention for Tiote's goal. Something I will never, ever forget)

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Job done. Topsy turvy season. Don't think i've seen a season with as many exhilerating highs as i have this one.

 

High Moment

 

1. Mackems 5-1

2. Arsenal 4-4

3. Villa 6-0

4. Signing Ben Arfa

5. Chelsea 4-3

6. Arsenal 1-0

 

 

Low Moment

 

1. Carroll sale

2. Hughton sacking

3. Pardew appointment (but has turned out okay, in fairness to him, was infuriating at the time however)

4. Stevenage 1-3

5. West Brom 1-3

6. Ben Arfa injury

 

 

Best Player

 

Fabricio Coloccini.

 

Best Individual Performance

 

Probably Ben Arfa against Everton. It's difficult to pick one out really cos, in spite of hat-tricks against Villa and the Mackems, they were still exceptional team performances. For example, i'd say Barton was the best player against Sunderland even though it was Nolan with the hat-trick. Ben Arfa against Everton, though, was just brilliant. So exciting.

 

Best Buy

 

Cheick Tiote.

 

Most Improved

 

Joey Barton.

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Wow. We're back and what an absolute roller-coaster it's been. At times it's been as enjoyable as any of my past seasons supporting this club while there's also been some frustrating self inflicted lows.

 

High Moment

 

Best match is Halloween hands down. But for one single moment it has to be when Tiote's pile-driver hit the net. That is single handedly the most elated I've ever felt due to football, pure ecstasy. Special mention to the Villa game as well. Such a massive relief when Barton's goal went in and it was onwards and upwards from there culminating in a certain Andy Carroll announcing himself at the top stage...

 

Low Moment

 

Who'd have known he'd last just 6 months as our number 9 though? That day, the soap opera being played out on SSN, the transfer request, those horrible pictures of him completing his medical in Liverpool colours, the realisation that we we're now void of our talismanic Geordie number 9. The whole day was awful.

 

Best Player

 

Coloccini.

Nolan deserves a nod as well considering many of us wanted him no where near the starting XI at the beginning of the season.

 

Best Individual Performance

 

Ben Arfa vs Everton, Barton's second half performance vs Arsenal a close second.

 

Best Buy

 

Tiote.

 

Most Improved

 

Simpson for me, Best would've probably knicked it had he made more appearances. I've overlooked Barton as he's reached a level I expected from him when he first signed whereas the previous two have far exceeded my expectations.

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With the season meandering to a close and everything apart from a final league position settled, I thought I'd have a reflect. Those expecting a thriller at West Brom may want to wait before contributing:

 

Overall reflections

 

What a ridiculous season. At times I've been sky high, at others rock bottom, it's really difficult to put into words what this year has meant. Looking at it objectively we're guaranteed a mid-table finish on our return to the top flight, we've never looked in any real danger of going down. Given the limitations of our squad, especially the lack of goal scoring pedigree it's nothing short of miraculous, regardless of how volatile the league has been.

 

High Moment

 

There's so many to choose from. If I was going to take a particular result it would have to be the 5-1 thrashing of the mackems. However, if we're talking individual moments it would have to be Tiote smashing in the equaliser against Arsenal. The side put us through the mill that game and to rescue a point with that goal was something special. I was bursting with pride.

 

Low Moment

 

I know a lot will say the sale of Carroll but for me I’ve never felt lower when Hughton left. It’s was the only point in the season I genuinely thought we might implode and sink into the relegation zone. Pardew has come in and done a great job, but the way a man who we owe so much to, was treat with such contempt still gets my angry to this day.

 

Best Player

 

Honorable shouts to Enrique, Tiote, Nolan and Barton but it simply has to be Colo. He’s had the odd blip but on the whole he’s been exceptional.  In everything he does he just oozes class, absolutely majestic.

 

Best Individual Performance

 

This season has been a complete team effort so I’m difficult to pick one particular performance. Colo, Enrique and Tiote have all had some absolute belters but for me I’d have to go with Ben Arfa against Everton. The lad looked an absolute touch of class, completely ran the show. I’ve never been so excited about a performance and a player in a long, long time.

 

Best Buy

 

Tiote, no question. Ben Arfa could turn out to be a top acquisition but to bring a player of Tiote’s caliber for absolute peanuts is bloody brilliant business. Exactly what we needed.

 

Most Improved

 

Simpson and Best have come on a ton, but Barton had a great season. People will say it is what we have come to expect from him but it doesn’t disguise the fact he’s improved massively. It could of been so easy for him to go on to become a Smith, Duff or [insert one of the numerous has been we’ve acquired over the years], but he’s really stepped it up this season. Long may it continue.

 

 

Pretty much this.  Can only debate the player of the year, but I wouldn't grumble if any of the players mentioned were considered it.

 

Would say selling Carroll was a lower moment for me than Hughton's departure.  But I think that's more to do with me following it for hours on deadline day.

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Never a dull moment. :lol: It's been a rollercoaster which has featured everything I love and hate about Newcastle.

 

High Moment

 

Tiote's equaliser in the 4-4. Never celebrated a goal so much in all my life, I went absolutely crazy. Honourable mentions to the 5-1 against the mackems which I watched early in the morning in Las Vegas and the 6-0 revenge against Villa.

 

Low Moment

 

There are a few contenders - the Carroll sale & Hughton getting the bullet for starters - but in terms of how I felt, Ben Arfa's injury was the worst for me. I was so looking forward to seeing him playing for us and those few moments after he was tackled where he didn't get back up and it became apparent it was very serious were awful, I felt sick to the stomach for days afterwards.

 

Best Player

 

Colo. Absolutely class. Barton & Tiote come close.

 

Best Individual Performance

 

Can't think of one, I don't pay enough attention.

 

Best Buy

 

Tiote. Just what we needed.

 

Most Improved

 

Barton. I've really changed my opinion of him this season.

 

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Stayed up, can't find too much to be upset about, other than the Hughton thing. Although impressions may change depending upon how the 35m is spent.

 

High Moment

 

Tiote's goal capping off a brilliant fightback. Lapped the competition. Honorable mention for the board after Nolan got 8.

 

Low Moment

 

Hughton's sacking and the feeling that the people with actual power in the club haven't got the slightest fucking clue.

 

Best Player

 

Enrique. Been a joy to watch. Hope it's not the last we see of him in the shirt.

 

Best Individual Performance

 

Enrique vs Blackburn. The man could have legitimately had seven assists. Didn't even look like he was trying.

 

Best Buy

 

:tiote:

 

Most Improved

 

:dontknow:

 

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Guest fraser

Overall reflections

 

A superb season that surpassed all of my expectations. The spirit in the squad has continued to prove that the whole can be more than the sum of its parts. If I had been offered seventeenth, some good results and beating Sunderland that would have been enough. We will finish higher than seventeenth, we’ve had some truly excellent results and reduced Sunderland to dust (metaphor only).

 

High moment

 

Tiote’s goal to go 4-4. The joy was palpable for player, team, management and fans alike whether you were there or saw it later. I still remember the feeling on seeing the goal that I did at the time.

 

Low moment

 

Stevenage/Hughton.

 

Best player

 

Guttierez is our ‘get out’ ball. Under pressure he receives the ball and either advances or we get a free-kick or throw-in. His end product may not be what everyone wants or expects but he has relieved pressure on our defence so often; under-appreciated. Honourable mentions for the obvious such as Colo (not previously rated by me), Barton, Nolan, Enrique and Carroll.

 

Best Individual Performance

 

Kevin Nolan against Sunderland at St James. You can have all the pace you want, timing is crucial.

 

Best Buy

 

Chiek Tiote.

 

Most Improved

 

Coloccini in respect of his performances not so much last year but in the relegation season.

 

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Overall Reflections

Typical roller coaster and a clusterfuck of emotions. If we do scrape into the top ten then it will have been a very successful season coming up from The Championship. There is alot of potential in the side and some dosh to spend on some top players so it will be a very exciting summer.

 

High Moment

 

Tiote's 4-4 equaliser. Never celebrated a NUFC goal like that before. What a moment.

 

Low Moment

 

Waking up February 1st with Carroll a player who I thought would be the one to lead us to being a team competing in Europe again, gone and no replacement put me in a week long depressive spell.

 

Best Player

 

Colo has been an absolute rock for us. One bad game against Bolton and some poor showings in defending set pieces and high balls aside has been so consistent and a huge leader at the back.

 

Best Individual Performance

 

Tiote away to Arsenal, thought he was absolutely immense that day. Felt like he had single handedly controlled Arsenal's midfield that day.

 

Best Buy

 

Tiote, more of the same please Mr Carr!

 

Most Improved

 

Best scored some vital goals, Carroll performed way above expectations in the first half of the season but for me the most improved was Danny Simpson. Didn't think he had it in him to be a competent PL performer but he has. Has some limitations in that he isn't good with the ball going forward but gives 100% every game and solid defensively.

 

Player ratings:

 

Harper: 7 Competent season from Stevie. Had some injury problems but i think his games out will be better for the club in the long term with Krul getting some experience. Only has another season or two of being premier league quality imo but if we are looking to improve we have to invest more game time and experience in Krul and Forster

 

Krul : 7 I have to admit i'm slightly disappointed by some of the mistakes he has made and that he hasn't cemented a first 11 spot when he has huge chances to do so. Some great performances like Arsenal away in amongst an up and down season.

 

Forster: 8 Couldn't ask more from a loaned out player. Broken the clean sheet record and gotten plenty of playing time. Not the best league and team to be playing GK for but it is still a toss up between him and Krul for the future #1 Gk gloves

 

 

Danny Simpson: 7.5 Don't think he has too much improvement left in him but has performed to the point where he is undoubtedly first choice, which he wasn't at the start of the season, and a competent PL right back.

 

James Perch: 3 An absolute calamity in the first five games of the season at right back and whenever i've seen him fill in at left back. Brought in as a fullback to me he has looked better every time i have seen him in the centre of the pitch. Not good enough for the PL, even for a utility player, would prefer youth start ahead of him.

 

Ryan Taylor: 5.5 Struggles with a big injury but before that he was quite good in our Carling Cup games scoring two goals. Player ok in the centre against Chelsea, though his set pieces were poor.

 

Mike Williamson: 7 Done well, has looked slow footed in a few games and isn't dominant in the air despite his height and frame. Works hard and hasn't had made too many mistakes despite his lack of experience at the top level.

 

Steven Taylor: 6 Probably got a little complacent in his recovery from injury and was overweight coming into it. Looks alot better now perhaps due to being put on the bench by Pardew. Still abit of a dumb ass but if he has a smart Cb like Colo alongside him it negates it somewhat.

 

Fabrizio Coloccini: 8.5 Top season from the Argentine, performed like the player we were expecting when we signed him. Still iffy on high balls and not really that suited to the English game he has been able to adapt and has been our best defender this season.

 

Sol Campbell: 4.5 Not going to criticise the signing as it was a smart one in theory but he is definitely passed it now at this level and hasn't looked fit all season. Some comical moments that cost us dearly. I think i remember one game where he looked like his old self, but it's time to hang up the boots or play at a lower level.

 

Jose Enrique: 8 Strong season from Jose though did look the leaving rumours did get to him abit. Link up play with Jonas was fantastic as always. Defensively I can't think of a better LB in the prem. Pity that we are losing a player that is good enough for a team playing in Europe, were we hope to be.

 

Shane Ferguson: 7.5 Promising signs from the youngster, though he does need to hit the gym this summer. hasn't looked out of place at all when he has featured, but shouldn't be first choice next season at all.

 

Tamas Kadar: He is getting a bit old to be a player with potential. Really like him, but he has struggled with injuries yet again. Next season is make it or break it for Tamas.

 

 

Joey Barton: 7.5 Apart from Blackburn has kept up his side of the bargain off the field which is huge for the club. On the pitch he has done well playing out of position ( I think he is best on the right of a midfield 3) and created alot of Carroll's goals. Has taken control of a few games this season which has been a joy to watch.

 

Wayne Routlege: 5.5 Was mediocre and didn't take the step up very well. Has done really well at QPR and I wish him the best with them next season. Getting rid of him in Jan was a bit mistake imo as we lacked depth and speed.

 

Kevin Nolan: 7 I am abit of a hater and cringed when he was made captain as I knew it meant he would be starting alot of games for us. Despite that he has been deadly inside the box from set plays this season and his goals, however jammy they were, have been huge in keeping us up. As a captain he has done so well in garnering a good team spirit despite s*** man management from above. If we are aiming for Europe I maintain my position that he isn't good enough to start as alot of games do pass him by in midfield due to very poor physical attributes and he such a waste when he tries shooting from outside the box.

 

Cheik Tiote: 8.5 What a legend! Just been so important for us. Runs all day and such a strong player in midfield. Would hate to think how we would have gone if Smith was our starting CDM. Great on the ball, if he can reduce his fouling and yellow cards he will be such an amazing player.

 

Alan Smith: 5.5 Not as disastrous as I and most others feared when he did play but it's clear he doesn't have the legs to be an affective CDM. Still commits silly fouls outside the box, but is a good bloke and I think he is a good character to have in the dressing room. Hope we have seen the last of him though.

 

Danny Guthrie: 5.5 Yet to prove he can hack it in the Premier League. Some shockers like away to WBA, but performed well in the appearances he made while Tiote was out injured in the last few months. Don't have a problem with him staying at the club though I would prefer Gosling be given a chance to impress ahead of Guthrie.

 

Dan Gosling: Write off of a season due to injury which hopefully will not plague him into the future.

 

Jonas Gutierrez:  6.5 Cops alot of undeserved flack on this forum. So important as he is the only midfielder we have that can run at players with the ball and stayed fit all season. Delivery improved slightly in my view and performed better as the season went on, especially in the last 2 months. I have a sneaking suspicion we have seen the last of him.

 

HBA: I don't think he is the player some expect him to be but he was a joy to watch for the few games he did play. If he lives up to the hype it will be faptastic.

 

Vuckic: Really thought he would see more from him but like Kadar just been injury prone all season.

 

Kazenga Lua Lua: 7.5 Really good loan spell away to Brighton and has looked ok when playing for the Toon this season.

 

Xisco: 5 Set up a goal in his nly first team performance this season (I think) but got red carded and lost any momentum he might have had. Has scored a few on his loan move away to Spain which will hopefully be enough to end this nightmare.

 

Shola Ameobi: 6 The guy is a legend but just not good enough for PL football anymore. Playing him is just holding back players like Ranger. Size and strength is an asset and can't knock his commitment to the team.

 

Peter Lovenkrands: 5 Just such a weak player. Has some speed and a decent left foot but runs like a headless chicken 9 games out of 10. Time to go and make way for better players.

 

Shefki Kuqi: 6 Brought in as a stopgap and has ran like a mad man whenever i've seen him play.

 

Leon Best: 7 earned himself another season at the club and will probably be first backup to our first choice strikers next season

 

Andy Carroll: 8 Our best performer first half of the season but threw it all away for Liverpool... :(

 

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