Vote for YOUR Man of the Match against Blackburn

Ba and Taylor celebrate against Blackburn
Let me first start by saying this is my 30th article for the blog! I can’t believe that I’ve hit that already, and there’s many more articles to come from me!

Yesterday was a great win for us against Blackburn. Usually when we end up playing Rovers it can be a bit of a banana skin for us. Thankfully it was not the case this time around and we came out on top with a 3-1 win.

There were many performances during the game that caught my eye and suggested that the team are gelling with each other and I thought that there was quite a few players who I could single out for a Man of the Match award. However, more than that, I thought that there were several key players who put in brilliant performances to help the team on the way to victory.

Demba Ba was outstanding in the game yesterday. He notched up the first goals of his Newcastle career with a hat-trick. The first goal was a great pass from his strike partner Leon Best, trapping the ball and striking it on the turn into the back of the net. His second came four minutes after the first when Blackburn failed to deal with a cross in to the box by Steven Taylor. Demba Ba was again on target to nod home his second of the match. To cap his day off, he scored his third goal of the match when a left-wing cross from Cheik Tiote found Ba who headed back across goal and straight into the back of the net.

This was the best game that I have seen Ba play in a black and white shirt. Previously when he has come on as a substitute he has shown signs that he was getting back to full fitness after Ramadan. Ba was clinical in front of goal and he took all three chances beautifully. It was a great performance from our Senegalese international.

Leon Best had a very good game yesterday, even though he failed to find himself on the scoresheet as a number of his chances either went over or just wide. His partnership with Demba Ba looked like one that is going to pay great dividends for the Magpies. They seem to work well playing off each other and Leon Best turned to provider for Ba’s first goal.

Best looked very sharp during the whole of the ninety minutes and several times he came close to punishing Blackburn’s defence. He caused a number of problems for Blackburn throughout the duration of the game, drawing Christopher Samba out of position so that the team would be able to capitalise. Besty showed during the game yesterday that he is putting the performances in every game for us even though he didn’t score this time.

Our midfield combination of Cheik Tiote and Yohan Cabaye were very effective yesterday. Cabaye was not as further forward as he was in the Villa game last week but during the game it seemed like his job was to help Tiote boss the midfield battle. And they certainly did that, breaking up the play in the middle of the park and then distributing the ball out to our wingers. Tiote again looked back to his full fitness as he put in another convincing performance to show that he is a midfield general. Apart from one bad pass Tiote had a flawless game. It also should be noted that the game yesterday was his third without a yellow card, a fantastic achievement for a player who notched up fourteen yellow cards last season. Cabaye’s job was also do the simple stuff of passing the ball effectively in order to help the team push on.

Jonas Gutierrez again covered well for Ryan Taylor and did get himself involved in the game when he ventured further forward. He was always tracking the runs of Blackburn’s attacks and when he was pushing forward in our attacks he was stretching the Blackburn defence in order for the team to get through on goal.

Gabriel Obertan was very impressive yesterday. He found himself involved in the game a lot and he certainly showed that he is a very pacey winger. He had a lot of joy down the right-wing and several times the Frenchman cut in and crossed the ball into the box. Obertan also found himself in spaces to have a shot on goal when Blackburn failed to close him down. Although the shots were mainly off target it showed that he is not afraid of cutting inside and having a shot at goal. The other impressive thing that I have noticed about the French international is that he tracks back in order to help the defence whenever the opposition are attacking.

Our centre-back pairing of Steven Taylor and Fabricio Coloccini were again very effective yesterday. They seem to have a brilliant partnership and they dealt with the Blackburn attacks when they needed to be called upon on. Colo again showed that he is a great passer of the ball as he ventured forward distributing the ball further up field so that we could stop any danger from happening in our box. Steven Taylor looked very calm yesterday and he had the measure of Yakubu throughout the time that he was on the field and stopping him from getting involved in the game. These two look like a very strong centre-back pairing for all the games we play.

Our fullbacks yesterday at times had good and bad moments. Let’s start with Danny Simpson. He linked up very well with Gabriel Obertan and Simpson found himself getting crosses into the box. That link down the right side can be one we can perhaps build on for the next game. However Simpson had a couple of moments were he backed off the attacker which allowed a cross into the box, one of which led directly to their goal. He has been a good player for us over the last few seasons but yesterday there was times when I didn’t feel confident with him dealing with the attackers. It was such a contrast to the Villa game last week where I felt he had played the best game of the season so far.

The same can be said for Ryan Taylor. He did find himself, like Simpson, further forward, and put crosses into the box. At times he was able to deal with the oncoming attackers from Blackburn but his mistake did lead to their goal. However there was one other incident where he got a touch on the ball which stopped Blackburn from levelling it to 2-2. He can do a job for us at left-back but I feel that it’s a matter of time before Davide Santon gets fit that we will perhaps see him the left-back slot.

Tim Krul didn’t have much to do throughout the match yesterday but he showed that he is a quick distributor of the ball as he chose to roll the ball out several times in order to allow us to push on and attack.

Another player I must mention is Hatem Ben Arfa. He came on for Demba Ba and he was on the ball a lot and linked very well with Obertan and Cabaye which was very nice to see. Certainly it will be interesting to see how they all play when he is fully fit.

Another substitute who caught my eye was Sylvain Marveaux. He played very well against Forest in the Carling Cup and it seems as if he can push Jonas for the left-midfield slot. He looked very nifty when he came on and he is a very good crosser of the ball.

Credit must also go to Alan Pardew for this victory. He seems to have the team very well prepared for playing teams like Blackburn. We looked very organised and each player seemed to have a specific role to do throughout the game. We look a whole lot better playing these types of team than we did last year and I certainly think that Pardew is turning us into a very well organised side who can push on this season.

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About Zoë Vicarage

A lifelong Newcastle fan. Currently exiled in Sunderland studying Sports Journalism at the University of Sunderland Follow me on Twitter: @ZoeVicarage

29 thoughts on “Vote for YOUR Man of the Match against Blackburn

  1. Thought Best had great movement. Obertan was on top form and Tiote was brilliant.
    But if you score a hattrick what more can be asked of you as a striker? So Ba for me.


  2. Newcastle still boast the meanest defense in the Prem … i think Best was fantastic yesterday great movement, good hold up, strong on the ball, assist for the 1st goal, only thing he was missing was a goal of his own, top display and as an Irish man i find it disgusting he has not been recalled to the Ireland Squad …

    Clueless clueless Trappatoni


  3. Cabaye for me. Best and Ba are making runs because they now have a chance of getting the ball . Cabaye is class and his distribution and choice of pass is a joy. Tiote is stepping up his game aswell.
    I thought we were great on Saturday against a poor Blackburm, we tried to play football in all areas. Long may it continue


  4. Good analysis Zoe, pretty much mirrors my sentiments in the match day posts. Although Best did very well, his main job is goalscorer. His finishing has to improve, however he needs a good run in the team and so far he is doing a good job. His assist however, was more a reflection of how comfortable Ba is controlling the ball. Best did great to get the ball and put the cross in, but it had too much power on it and forced Ba to turn at a difficult angle. Ba did magnificantly to take the pace off it, turn and shoot at an acute angle. Great bit of skill. Kudoes to Best for making it happen, but disagree that it was a ‘great’ ball.

    Like you said, Cabeye was very effective with the ‘simple’ but neccessary passes from the middle. It is that kind of player, with Tiote breaking up attacks that allow the rest of the side to just get on with it and attack. Absolutely class, honestly would not swap those two for anybody in the same position outside the top 4.

    For me Tiote is Man of the Match. Ba was decisive in front of goal, but Tiote dominated the opposition and dictated play. He broke up attacks and was effective when he strayed forward. Top drawer performance.


  5. Ba, purely for the hat trick. I couldn’t give it to anyone else really, even though there was some other fantastic performances on the pitch.


  6. oberton for me…every thing he did was good…used his pace when he needed 2…took players on and had great control of the football..passed the ball and looked in total control…he has got 2 be the plus point..getting better with each game and not looking like a headless chicken..tht has got 2 be great for us…


  7. Oblong heed played a blinder,Tiote was class, but Ba has to get it, took all the goals well.
    We really do have the makings of a good team.


  8. The pleasing thing with Best is , even if he misses he keeps trying and is not scared to have a go , some players miss once then go missing for the rest of the game . It seems like Pardew and the coaching staff are doing a brilliant job in training because not only is the team as a unit improving game by game but there is a noticable improvement in a lot of individuals as well . Best , both Taylors and Obertan in particular .


  9. I didn’t see enough of the game to make and informed decision but three goals usually earns a player motm. Ba’s first goal was so impressive. If he stays fit then he will be yet another fantastic signing by the club. Obertan looks like he is improving with the run of games too and looks better than Routeledge. Good times


  10. In fairness I remember when we signed Obertan, a few said he was another routlege with no end product. Having seen him a few times now, he looks like he has a goal in him, can cross, will track back, has ferocious pace and is comfortable taking it to the byline or cutting inside. Very difficult to play against and twice the player Routlege is.
    He is rated that highly by Pardew, that in his post match interview, he said Obertan was the only player in the squad that we would struggle to replace should injury/fatigue or bans force him out… That is saying something when you look at the likes of Tiote and Cabeye, Saylor and Colo who I personally feel would be sorely missed under simialr circumstances…


  11. Shamrock although I agree that Obertan looks like a real good player,
    I took from Pards interview that he was talking more about us not having a player to play in that position, remember before he came we only had a CM Joey that had to play in that position. All the other positions we have cover for


  12. Shamrock I was one of the ones who was cautous about Obertan, Mainly because living in Cheshire I know a lot of Utd season ticket holders all of whom basically said, Lots of pace, good workrate when interested, but lacks the awareness to ever be good enough for Utd. What I have see so far is that he may not be good enough for utd, and may not even be good enough to be a starting player for us. However, I believe that with AP’s coaching and keeping him engaged he will be a good asset for us.


  13. Oh, and Papiss Cisse also scored for relegation zone Freiburg. He’s second in the Bundesliga with 6 goals behind Mario Gomez, with a hatrick-including 8.

    Beginning to think he’s a really big missed opportunity…


  14. I am disgustingly drunk and took a bunch of acid but here goes. I am bored of the pro/anti Ashley sentiments and have never really taken a side. But I don’t think, considering the offers we allegedly tried to give Tugboat and ‘the best midfielder in england’ that we ever planned this brand of football, but it’s happened and it’s great. We are are a WAY better side to watch right now and to give Alan credit, he did say from day 1 that he wanted to play football that the Geordies want to see. Ba gets motm because he scored 3. D’uh. Look up how many hat-tricks have been scored by Newcastle players. Obertan was brilliant. Best, as much as j wrote him off after his performance in the2nd round of the league cup has been great since. Sure he blew bunch of chances but he created. Rooney goes games without scoring but will still manage to link up play. Cabaye will be kept quiet Sometimes by teams that play 5 in the middle. That will now FOR ONCE almost work in our favour as we have wingers that can take advantage. Anyway, there’s Brendan’s alternative assessment. Take what you will from it.


  15. FSOTC – When we signed him he was playing on the right for his old club. He is right footed and played at right-back in the World Cup I think?


  16. Brendan
    September 25, 2011 at 18:22

    “Ba gets motm because he scored 3. D’uh. Look up how many hat-tricks have been scored by Newcastle players.”

    In the last two seasons, Ba, Best, Nolan, Carroll


  17. Prem, Manure are on a different plain to us so that comment is fair enough. However, given our current level i’d say Obertan is definately a starter for us. Reckon you are right regarding the coaching. Best and a few others are coming on leaps and bounds.

    Big Dave, With Marveaux now in the squad and young Ferguson coming good Guti can cover the right. Ben Arfa could also do a job there not to mention young Ameobi (predominantly left footed mind, but not a bad right!) and to a certain extent Ryan Taylor. It’s not like we would completely screwed for cover, just that Obertan fits the out and out winger profile much more closely than anybody else in the squad. Loverman too if need be.

    Be interesting to see what new faces come in over the next 12 months and if we keep hold of the best players…


  18. Ba for me.

    Best was very busy and played well except in one regard – his shooting was woeful – he couldn’t hit a cows arse with a banjo. If he can sort it out he could really make a name for himself at Newcastle.


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