Sunday, 3 October 2010

Newcastle player ratings

Hart A quiet day at the office. Probably powerless for Newcastle's goal, and that aside he had a few saves to make low down but nothing stretching. In the air he did well against a number of launched high balls. 6

Boateng Not the easiest conceivable first Premier League start, up against a rampant Jonás Gutiérrez. There were occasional issues with his positioning, but in one-on-ones he was good, making six successful tackles. Final balls into the box - one of his strengths in the World Cup - were a bit awry. 5

Kolo Touré I know Kompany sliced his clearance for Newcastle's goal but had Kolo been closer to Gutiérrez it would still have been avoidable. That aside he did fine, and made one important interception when Newcastle were breaking. 6

Kompany There was the miscued clearance for Newcastle's goal, yes. But that aside this was another display of defensive perfection. He was under every header, against the imposing Shola Ameobi and Andy Carroll, he was serene with the ball on the ground. He even joined in up in the final third when we were searching for a late goal. 7

Lescott Back in the side in the absence of Pablo Zabaleta, he again looked like a decent centre back shunted out of position. He made no successful passes in the final third, and often looked scared of putting a cross in. Lucky not to concede a penalty when he chopped Ameobi in the box at 2-1. 6

de Jong I might as well say it: Nigel de Jong's reckless tackling is wrong, and increasingly embarrassing. He's a talented and effective footballer, no doubt about it, but the way he goes for the ball endangers fellow professionals and is inimical to the finest traditions of Manchester City. Hatem ben Arfa is the second person, after Stuart Holden, to have his leg broken by de Jong in 2010. Today's was not his worst offence, and it was not done with the express intention of leg-breaking, the possibility of ben Arfa coming off worse cannot have been unknown to de Jong. This needs to stop now. 5

Silva A quieter contribution than I had hoped for, but with some moments of quality. He grew most into the game in the final twenty minutes, as he started to appear in the spaces that Newcastle created. Came close to his first Premier League goal once or twice, particularly with a right-footed shot into the side netting. 6

Yaya Touré Frightfully off the pace today. He was second to everything today. Over the course of his 57 minutes on the pitch he made no successful tackles and no successful interceptions, and just 24 successful passes. If we had put James Milner in his place and Adam Johnson out wide it might have been a very different game. 4

Barry A good game in a defensive sense, with some important tackles and interceptions. Going forward he was fairly blunt, most notably when through on goal in the first half. 6

Milner Worked hard, to make contributions from either wing. His final ball still isn't quite up to scratch, yet, but the left wing is not the ideal place for him to be deployed. That said, there were a few good passes and also the assist for Johnson's goal. 6

Tévez Ran off the shoulder of the centre backs effectively, particularly when winning the penalty which he converted. I know he's now got seven in seven from the spot for City but I still don't rate him as a penalty-taker. This has hammered down the middle, and deflected off Tim Krul's knee into the roof of the net. He's done that a few times before (once against Bolton, once against Villa I think), sooner or later it's going to bite him. Later contribution good. 6


Adebayor Very lively when he came on, getting into good positions. Could well have grabbed a goal before he was upstaged by another substitute. 7

A. Johnson If he wants a regular place in the side he's going the right way about it. Scored within minutes of coming on today - his first Premier League goal at Eastlands, and it was a stunner, beating two defenders before a roaring finish. Comparisons with Arjen Robben are, well, less silly than they might be. 7

Vieira Came on late, made one good tackle. n/a


Harry said...

Jack, seriously, you're going to get on the Nigel De Jong bandwagon as well...? The tackle on Holden was terrible and deserved a red card and a fine. The Alonso challenge was laughable, but the challenge on Ben Arfa was not and was an entirely unfortunate incident. I have all the sympathy in the world for Ben Arfa, but you cannot say that De Jong went in to that challenge recklessly and you can not say he went in there with intent. Now I can understand some of the more emotionally affected supporters out there putting 1 + 1 together and getting 3, but De Jong is not a dirty player. I watch him week in week out and although he is a toucgh player, he doesn't committ many fouls and the only terrible challanges I can ever rember him doing are the two high profile ones mentioned above.
Bert van Marwijk is an absolute joke for banning NDJ from the Netherlands squad and I wouldn't blame NDJ if he refused to play for the Netherlands while Marwijk is in charge. Populist nonsense.

Also, leave the opinionated stuff for idiots like me in the comments box (or the 5live commentary team). Your blog has always been interesting because it was balanced and well written, but that seems to be changing.

Mick Travis said...

I'd endorse everything Harry has to say. You seem to have fallen for the current tabloid wisdom that is "De Jong should be banned for life (if we can't being back hanging)". I would have thought you had been in the game long enough to see that the current witch hunt against NDJ is part of the virulent media campaign against MCFC since we stopped being "the endearing-but-useless neutrals' favourite" and became "those filthy rich b-s likely to destabilise the PL's hierarchy."
On a wider point, I'm afraid, yes, your blog is becoming less informative and more sententious and 'preachy' and less interesting because of it.

Ahoyskin said...

While I don't agree with the position that De Jong went in attempting to break Ben Arfa's leg, isn't being "preachy" the reason one should start a blog in the first place? Why blog nearly every day on a subject for which you only post "neutral" comments? I believe that both the ball-winning tackle and journalism carry necessary evils, but that is no sound reason why either should be banned.

Ben said...

As a Newcastle fan, it's refreshing to come across a City voice that recognises de Jong was at fault - fair play for your conviction.

As for blogging in general, opinion is what makes blogs worth reading in the first place - otherwise, surely everyone would just rely on well-resourced up-to-the-minute news sites of the BBC and national newspapers. Sure there are going to be times when things are said that you disagree with - but to suggest a partisan blog that exists to focus on one team should be neutral is laughable. (As you may have guessed, we've had the same accusations levelled at our blog from Newcastle fans in the past too...)

wizzballs said...

think clearly JPB.

past incidents make him guilty this time?

what hope is there for him then?

because he made two bad, high profile tackles, no matter how well he tackles from now on, the moment something unfortunate happens, he is responsible, no matter how careful he was THIS time around.

what exactly are they teaching you? :o)

Anonymous said...

In the tackle De Jong had won the ball and Ben Arfa,was caught by a trailing knee on his planted foot . The referee was well placed and did not deem it a foul. If you look at any of De Jongs Tackles he never deliberately targets the man his eyes are always 100% on the ball. Perhaps he is too committed but he is not dirty. I do not agree with you that he is "a thug!" When you think of intentional tackles like that of Roy Keane on Alfie Haarland that is where the term "thug" should be used. One thing is for sure he will be a marked man from now on so he will have to be less committed.