Archie’s Alternative Assessment – Newcastle 2 – 1 Fulham

Best opens the scoring.

Best opens the scoring.
Last week I wasn’t best impressed with the general performance of the team.

I was particularly unimpressed with Yohan Cabaye and Cheik Tiote – a sentiment that appeared to be unshared with the majority of you. I also hinted that calling the idea of putting 11 men in the box an actual “tactic” was pushing the concept a bit.

This week, I have to say that, come 3 o’clock the fridge was a little lighter and I was in much better fettle. Obviously both Cabaye and Tiote took note of my comments and tried a little harder. See, all they needed was a one of my famous motivational speeches. Apart from an apparent uncontrollable urge to beat the crap out of our own players I thought we were much improved over the first two weeks.

But why does it take us so long to get going?

I have to say that I can’t remember any team being on the wrong end of possession figures of 29%-71% and then winning, but lets face it – we are special.

At times it was a comedy of cock-ups and I couldn’t decide which was the funniest. Was it Taylor laying out Tiote, Lovenkrands chinning Best, or was it Tiote trying to persuade the ref that he’d only committed 3 fouls all game, when there were still 7 people laying on the ground behind him?

In actual fact it was probably Yohan Cabaye seeing Peter Lovenkrands go down like a sack of shit but then choosing to ignore him and go on celebrating the goal. Maybe we don’t have that “brotherly love” thing up and running yet between the French and the Danes.

Tim Krul – 9

Three first class saves kept us in the match and made the difference between winning and losing. If you are going to criticize him for the goal at all then you also have to look at Coloccini and Tiote who were immediately behind and in front of the scorer.

My Man Of The Match

Danny Simpson – 7

Not at his best on the day but getting better. He gets forward a lot quicker than he gets back leaving the right side of defence with a big hole in it.

Steven Taylor – 8

Good solid all round performance. He does a pretty good impression of British Rail, making sure that the opposition don’t get to where they are going. And in some cases some of our players too. As long as he gets away with it then it’s not a problem.

I’m actually surprised he didn’t get a yellow for twatting Tiote. Not sure for what, but lashing out like that and laying someone out cold has to be an offence somewhere along the line, even if he is a team mate.

Fabricio Coloccini – 8

Good all round performance from the other Centre Back– good to see him getting forward. Nearly took out both of our forwards in the celebration but hey, can’t get everything right.

Ryan Taylor – 7

Thought he had another reasonable game but I get a bit concerned about his tackling. On another day with another ref we could have been down to 10 men fairly early on.

Gabriel Obertan – 7

Could have been an 8, but I reserve the right to allow him a little breathing space. For the first time in a while we are going into games being able to attack on both flanks.

I think I might get to like him.

Yohan Cabaye – 8

If, as was suggested by a few of you, I had given Cabaye an 8 or a 9 last week, then I’d be looking at giving him 11 or 12 this week, such was his improvement.

I realize he’s a different player to Barton, he’s talented to start with, but he certainly makes Barton’s departure more bearable.

His short passes in congested areas put pressure on us at times when we could have done without it. He needs to figure out that some of his team mates are just not that quick.

Cheik Tiote – 8

Whether it was lack of fitness or illness that slowed him down last week, the lad was back and back with a vengeance.

A committed performance and all done without the ending up in the refs notebook, but I can’t for the life of me figure out how.

Unfortunately he doesn’t have the kind of face that makes you feel sorry for him when the refs giving him a bollocking.

Jonas Guttierez – 8

A good performance from a player who seems to be able to cover every inch of the pitch and, for a change, mostly in an upright position. He defended well and was much more adventurous in attack. Wouldn’t be surprised if he knocks one in soon.

Leon Best – 7

At the risk of waking up the bug that’s been kipping up some of your collective arses, as I have said in the past, scoring goals doesn’t impress me as much as what else they do during the time between the goals going in. And Best didn’t do a lot. Yes, the goals were not bad, from 3 and 4 yards out, and he was involved a bit – that’s why he got a 7 – but personally I still think he’s not a Premier League striker.

Peter Lovenkrands – 3

I don’t think that I have ever given a 3 before. I would suspect that only not showing up or scoring 3 headed own goals from outside the box could merit a lower score. He reminded me of the kid at school that was so bad nobody would pass to him.

47 minutes into the game he actually kicked the ball for the first time. 52 seconds later, during the celebration of the first goal, he accidentally nutted Best then fell to the deck.

Between then and the 61st minute, when he was replaced by Ba, he headed the ball once.

And I thought Ba was crap against Arsenal…..

Demba Ba – 6

Better than previous appearances but still don’t see what West Ham fans were raving about. Had only one good shot in 30 minutes and his cross for the second goal only got to Best courtesy of a deflection off the first defender.

I would normally say something like at least he’s better than Ameobi, but suppose I’ll have to be careful now with Sammy on the scene.

Haris Vukic

What can you say about someone who comes on in the 78th minute and gets injured in the 82nd. Do we have a replacement for Michael Owen?

Alan Smith

5 minutes doesn’t really warrant a rating but it’s a long time since Smudger impressed on the field.

Must try to be more positive.

Errrrrr…….His hair was nice!

Alan Pardew – 7

Nice to get two or three players out of our box this week and while I’m happy to see the backs moving forward we end up with a lot of pressure on Coloccini and Steven Taylor on the break Obertan is a welcome breath as he can go wide or cause just as much trouble coming inside, a welcome change to Jonas who, only having one foot, becomes predictable after a (very short) while.

I was not impressed when I saw the starting forwards but I suppose Vukic and Sammi can’t play from the start without a note from their parents.

Why does it take us so long to settle down at the beginning of a match? Are we just waiting to see how they are going to play it, and then we ad-lib from there?

We appear to be heading towards a balanced team. Is Pardew going to pull through or is the transfer window going to be the death of him like so many others?

I was happy with the result, and they are positive numbers (for me). There will come a game some time soon when it all slots together and those of you who are giving out 9s and 10s now have nowhere to go.

Good grief – I almost feel happy!

140 thoughts on “Archie’s Alternative Assessment – Newcastle 2 – 1 Fulham

  1. Moreno im with you on this … reckon Best is a good player and if he played a lot could be on the cusp of being prolific – i mean he has scored about 8 in the last 15 starts for the toon .. it isnt bad … seem to remember some comment from his manager at coventry (which i think is where he started his career) saying he was a proper prodigy and they had expected him to be seriously good player


  2. If Best played every match this season in a 4-3-3-/ 4/5/1 I genuinely think he could hit twenty in a season. People go on about his hatrick against Wham messing up the stats but its complete shite.

    Everyone remember last season, when we couldn’t put one past Fulham in two games? Best did twice this season, and Fulham are still a solid team.

    He’s scored against Arsenal, and he’s scored against Everton. Top top teams, its not like just had a couple of shite taps ins against some terrible teams. Honestly the stick some of our players get, sometimes you can see why we get the deluded tag thrown at us 😕


  3. MORENO not saying best is a world beater but his touch and little pull was tops imo,or was it good luck maybe time will tell,if given it like


  4. By the way, Best dont do much except score goals, but that is a good thing as otherwise he would be duplicating the work of the goal keeper / defenders / midfielders / support striker/no 10 ….. it is wat he supposed to do score goals


  5. Scratch that. Muntari thankfully in talks with Fulham 😀

    Newkie – Surely if people say Best’s hat-trick distorts his impact then the same can be said for Carroll and Nolan? Would that be about fair 😉


  6. How long until Guthrie and ferguson are totally fit. I think ferguson is good now though since he’s off to the N. Ireland squad.


  7. Toonsy-Exactly, I’ve said the same time and time again, but for some Carroll and Nolan were untouchable like.


  8. AB you know where judas came from,what ime saying is give best a chance,has he not got a better class of player around him than he did have in the past,not my main man by a long shot,but you cannot compare judas with best as you did


  9. Moreno – certainly nearer 1 in 4 than 1 in 3.

    Nowhere near 1 in 2.

    You can take any strikers record over a limited period and make it 1 in 2 or 1 in 8, depending which period you pick

    Of course like any other fan I’d be over the moon if the lad scores 20 a season……….


  10. IceDog – so who do we compare him to?

    You’re right – we cant compare him to Carroll

    Back to my comment he’s not Premier League.

    Sincerely hope I’m wrong and you can all come back and take the piss later in the season…….

    Just be prepared to join the queue


  11. Sorry Moreno – misread your comment.

    Hope he can keep it up, but the rest of my comment still applies.


  12. Big Dave – Tin Helmet wont stop what they’re chuckin’ mate.

    Bloody hell – I live in the Middle East and get into less bother for expressing an opinion 😉


  13. So Lads will you’s all be happy for us to carry on with Best and or Ba as our No1+ 2 strikers for the season and just not bother bringing in a quality striker ❓ ❓


  14. I’m a huge fan of Best.
    True he has nowhere near the potential of Carroll. But Carroll does have the attributes to be a premierleague great.

    Not sure whether I would want to rely on Best for the season, but if we did i’m certain he would get 15+ goals. I think we need shot of Loven and Ranger needs to go on loan.

    Here is a good question, I feel, with a new left back, we would have more than enough to stay in the league, would people be able to handle not spending on a striker if it meant fatty p!ssed off at the end of the season?


  15. Dave – I guess how you define quality? I mean I don’t think this Maiga or Roux or anyone else that we’ve been linked are much better, if any, than what we have so I don’t see the point really.

    My opinion would change if we looked like getting a Sturridge or Defoe, but it aint gonna happen.


  16. how many PL strikers are scoreing 20 plus a season, for 5/6mil could you please let jabba know as hes looking for one,even one from the german,french or dutch lge will do,wont hold my breath like 😀


  17. Also I do agree that we need another striker, but we have signed Ba and our goals/game ratio was actually better in games without Carroll. So I dont feel it would be the start of the apocolypse, it would just be further disgusting actions from the board.

    Archie were you a Nolan fan? Whilst he was a terrific leader I dont think he contributed much to games except goals, and that isnt something that is enough for a midfielder.


  18. Dave: i’d be happy with Best and Ba, they linked well together and if they play consistently they I think they good be a very good strike force.


  19. So Toonsy in that I would take it that your happy enough to stick with the 2 mate ?
    Maiga and Roux I dont know much about but I would have rated Gamerio, Gervinho, Erdinc as being quality and having more potential than Best and Ba.
    Sturridge is one that I think would offer huge potential and should be the type of striker we should be going all out to get.
    But I guess its all about opinions and we all have them 😉


  20. If Best played every game this season I reckon he’d get 15 goals. Name other English strikers who did that last season?

    A strikers job is too score goals and maybe people forget we have a plethora of midfielders to do the passing, tackling and getting themselves about.

    Barca must have been on tv too much last year if people are expecting goals and sublime skill, passing, pressing and tackling from our strikers. We are a bottom/mid table Premier League team and goals are hard to come by. The men getting them should be applauded and have faith shown in them.

    I just don’t get how he gets a 7 in this assessment based on that game, where he scored both of our goals to win the game.

    His mark is no doubt knocked down as you don’t rate him Archie due to his past. In that case, why not shave some points of Colo as he wasn’t that great for us in his first season?


  21. Confirmation that three Italians in to St James – working late into the night.

    Believe they are:

    And Quattro Stagione

    Ill get me coat


  22. Too soon to tell about a Best/Ba partnership being good enough for a whole season. Surely we all agree another good quality striker would really improve our chances? Best has definitely shown us goals so he has to be first choice until someone comes in which is only 2 more days away. I still reserve judgement on Ba. Other than that we are horribly thin on strikers. Can’t count Peter as being effective at all, Shola is hugely injury prone, Airey is too young, loaned out and already injured, Sammy is too young and extremely inexperienced. Ben Arfa has only played parts of 3 games for us so a huge question mark. Still not sure about Obertan on the wing yet although he has great pace. Same with Marveaux. So many question marks, so few answers.


  23. I won’t be thrilled since I think we still need a striker of higher quality, but I could live with Best and Ba for another window or two, especially since we arelikely to play with a lone striker once Ben Arfa returns. so long as we address the FB posiitons


  24. Dave – Well no. I’d like another one, but I would prefer us to het a decent one and not just any striker


  25. I believe we need a top quality striker….but in Best’s defence, in the Premier League for us he scored 6 in 11 games last term (better than 1 in 2) and has scored 2 in one start and one sub appearance so far.

    If that deserves slating then I give up


  26. SolanosTrumpet – no mate. Goals or not I thought Nolan did nowhere near enough on the field.

    Remember many a joyous afternoon slagging him off in my reviews and getting pretty much the same response as i did here with Best.


  27. Thing is, at the minute we are a mediocre, mid-table team aspiring over the next couple of years to nail 7/8th place (asking anything more for a few more seasons is ludicrous).
    Most strikers in this bracket cant score and create in abundance, but with Best, we have someone, who when he gets a chance, he finishes it.

    I dont think we can argue with that at our level, he doesnt waste chances, he causes problems, and he clearly has passion on the pitch.


  28. I actually agree with GeordieTwo in that there are a lot of question marks in our squad, even players we had last season. We honestly don’t know exactly what we will get out of gosling, best, HBA, marveaux, obertan, or Ba. Then we have the emerging youth of ferguson, vuckic, Sameobi, and Abeid. That’s 10 first-team players with question marks over them! It is going to take some time for all of these players to get into top gear and gel together.
    I’m actually thankful for te upcoming international break to hopefully allow some players to get their fitness up and for Pardew to bring the squad together


  29. Toonsy exactly mate that is my point.
    The thing that really annoys me is that we sold Carroll for £35 mill and I really dont think it is greedy or over ambitious to expect the Fatman to spend only half that on a quality striker to replace Carroll.
    I just think that the Fatman has knocked a lot of optimisim out of us that we will accept what ever he gives us. 👿


  30. Moreno – Do you honestly think he’ll maintain that ratio?

    For arguements sake I’ll stick with the 1 in 2 , not the 2 in 1.


  31. SolanosTrumpet >> Thing is, at the minute we are a mediocre, mid-table team aspiring over the next couple of years to nail 7/8th place (asking anything more for a few more seasons is ludicrous).

    Solano I really believe that with the team we had last season and a couple of quality additions we could have been fighting for that this year.
    I am sorry but I feel that some of the supporters have turned into MA’s Financial Advisors and are now willing to feed of the scraps from MA’s table 😥


  32. Archie,

    Doesn’t matter whether I think he’ll maintain it. Fact is he has done it and in the Premier League too which is amazing considering he ‘isn’t a premier league striker’

    He deserves the plaudits.


  33. Happy Birthday Dave .. whos the financial advisers? is that the same as the people who are advising him on spending £17.5mill (half) of the £35mill from the carroll transfer on another striker?? 😉 happy birthday!


  34. Big Dave – do you not think from what we’ve seen already that a couple more players in might still give us a decent chance?

    You might have gathered that I’m hardly the eternal optimist, but I’m fairly impressed with what I’ve seen. Get the likes of HBA and Guthrie up and running, bring in a couple of decent players and you must have noticed we’ve got a few handy young ‘uns in Ferguson, Vukic and Ameobi.


  35. Moreno – lets agree to disagree.

    Tell you what – lets revive the topic in December and see whats what


  36. Big Dave – Happy Birthday from Abu Dhabi

    If you are passing by give us a shout and i’ll buy you a beer.


  37. On the money subject I dont know how much longer we can afford to keep taking on these free agents. Seems like an expensive do to me.

    Anybody else think the reason we only get players from the French League is because Ashley will only pay expenses as far as France?


  38. Wooo Hoooo ❗ ❗
    A positive coment from Troy @42
    Well done fella. Cant believe that I agree with you.

    I think the time to judge Besty is after a run of say 8 -10 games.
    Give the lad a chance ffs.


  39. Archie,

    No probs, although it seems we are discussing different topics.

    As I understand it, you are slating Best because he might not be great in the future whilst I am praising him for what he has done in the recent past?

    Not the same hymn sheet really so yeah we’ll agree to disagree. 😕 🙂


  40. @BB

    It’s a start fella. Start off with one thing at a time and before you know it, you will start to notice your popularity increases.

    This time next year you might be as popular as me and realise you owe me sn apology. 😛 😆


  41. I’m with Moreno on this one. Best has a lot of potential and clearly has an eye for goal.
    He’s hard working and is keen to develop.

    He certainly needs to be given a long run in the team as he’s deserved it on merit.


  42. Trumps @ 113. You say when Best gets a chance, he finishes it. He doesn’t waste chances. I love things that make me laugh like “The Inbetweeners” and “The Office”. The secret is to have some basis in reality though. Sorry, but that shout is just bizarre. Yeah, the kid’s done well and deserves a crack after the last game. What I like about him is his self-belief and confidence when things are going wrong. And man, do they go wrong. The kid misses decent chance after decent chance. But at least he keeps on going. Great attitude. The reason he has such critics is that, at this level, you might only get two or three chances, and you’ve got to take at least one. He is too profligate. Perhaps, if he gets a run of games, who knows? He’s the only one staking a claim at the moment so Pardew should back him. Unfortunately, Pardew seems to want to bring him down to earth with his post match comments. Keegan would have had his confidence sky high.


  43. Moreno – I’m slating him because i think he doesnt do enough now.
    Aye – he’s banged a few in but he’s woefully short elsewhere.

    Aye – you’re right about the future too.


  44. Thanks for the greetings lads 😉
    Archie I still think with a couple of quality signings we will be alright mate but I am not very confident of getting them


  45. army69 u should watch santon on utube he is class can defend has skill can pass a ball and great shot very quick take a look awsome


  46. “Sorry , but I cant believe anyone can rate Best.
    He’s like Ameobi in so much as the goals somehow go in but are never what you would call “Quality”.
    Come back and tell me I’m wrong at the end of the season when he’s played scored 20.”

    Generally a good match assessment Archie.
    Must quibble with the sentiment you expressed above though.
    Best had an ok to fairly good game in general – maybe worth a 6 or slightly generous seven.
    But he scored two goals, and two important goals at that. That is is primary role surely?
    To me that warrants at least an 8.

    You have to award him for the match – not your perception of what he’ll do over the course of the season or your perception of his actual level of ability.
    Even a fairly average striker is capable of a blinder now and again.


  47. if best keeps scoring goals then he’s good. I lived in Milan in 2002 and got to see Pippo Inzaghi playing some of his best football and he also looked like a tit half the time but somehow managed to end up scoring tap ins and poachers goals all the time

    I don’t think Leon Best is anything like Inzaghi, but if a striker scores two goals then they did their job

    We still desperately need a striker though.


  48. Happy birthday for yesterday Big Dave 🙂 . Good debate about the Best issue can see where both sides are coming from to be honest. I agree that a strikers primary job is to score goals and kudos to Best for that long may it continue and his two goals along with Krul’s saves basically won us the game. I don’t however think scoring goals is a Striker’s only job. Surely on top of scoring goals a Striker’s job is to hold the ball up to take pressure off the defence and to try and bring other players into the game and trying to create goals. This means that even if your Striker is having an off day in the goal scoring department or he is not getting chances from midfield he can still have a positive impact on the game. I also think he is caught offside far too much and he misses a lot of chances however I think it was the great Alan Shearer that said the mark of a good striker is no matter how many times you miss chances you keep getting in good positions to score knowing that you will put the ball into the back of the net. This is Best’s Best (pun intended lol) attribute. Hopefully with a run of games he will develop his all round game because there is potential there and as previously stated he has been getting goals in his last 15 games. I think like Big Dave says @ 75 people are seeing different things in him I wouldn’t call any supporter that doesn’t/ does rate him.


  49. Best has scored twice as many goals as Drogba and Torres put together…. How can you rate him a 7 😯


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