Playing on a pedestal

Since this ‘blogs inception on 1st January 2011, I have enjoyed the banter and disagreements about the running of our club and I respect and understand that we all have different viewpoints on the matter.

The thing I struggle to understand is regarding our relationship with certain players. What does a player have to do to gain adulation from the Toon Army?

In the case of players like Leon Best, it doesn’t matter what he does. To certain sections of the fan base, he will never be good enough. The comparison I draw is Best’s hat-trick against West Ham and Ba’s recent treble. I remember that although Leon got credit, it was more tongue in cheek than when Demba sank Blackburn.

Leon Best is currently the fourth best striker in Premier League history when it comes to goals/games ratio. He was better than a goal every 2 games last season and is currently a goal every two games striker this season despite not playing a full game.

Jonás Gutiérrez is another player who seems to attract a lot of criticism from certain sections of the fan base. Particularly due to the fact ‘he can’t cross or shoot’. Here is a player who is ever present in the side, his work rate is fantastic and you can never doubt his commitment. He controls himself impeccably off the pitch and I truly believe he doesn’t get half the credit he deserves.

Although he is starting to win over supporters who doubt him, I still saw ‘he can’t cross or shoot’ after his goal at Wolves on some of the comments….give me strength! Let the lad have his praise for at least 10 minutes!

I now get to our illustrious Frenchman, Hatem Ben Arfa. Any death threats towards me can be sent here: [email protected] Alternatively, you can put them in the comment box below or use the contact page at the top of the site.

I was a big fan of the way Benny played football before he was ever on our radar and I am looking forward to seeing what he can do in our Number 10 shirt. I couldn’t believe he signed for us at the time as we were recently promoted and he had a reputation as one of footballs brightest talents.

I think people need to take a step back and calm down a little bit though. The lad has been out for ages and has done nothing in recent times to suggest he deserves a first team shot. There may be perfectly valid reasons such as injuries and family problems to explain his absence from the first team picture but wouldn’t you feel aggrieved if you were Sylvain Marveux or Leon Best and he strutted back into the team?

Sylvain has worked his socks off in training and has shone for the reserves. He should be next in line to play should Pardew drop any of the first team XI – Which I would heavily question due to recent results.

How many of us, if given the option of a fully fit squad and the chance to pick the team against Spurs, would leave Best out and put Ben Arfa behind Ba?

I bet there would be a lot and why? Why is Hatem Ben Arfa on a pedestal and so revered by fans?

If it’s due to his potential ability, let me also remind you that he also has the potential to spit the dummy out as well. Pardew himself has said it recently on more than one occasion very recently and I don’t believe in throwing a hissy fit to get a game when it is undeserved.

Of course, you’re not allowed to mention his potential to cause problems, just his potential to be our best player ever due to the fact we are fourth in the league and everything is rosy. (I’ll be awarding a prize for the best death threat, see above)

A couple of comments from a previous thread sums this up nicely:

“probably the biggest talent we’ve had since Pedro and then some.”

“I want nothing to go wrong and him in the team instead of blundering Best!”

This is a player who has featured in 6 games in over a year for us, whilst some of the lads who earn their money and give 100% each week are slaughtered. I know it’s not Hatem’s fault he is injured although I do wonder if it was a player with a lesser stature to fans, he would be given this time and praise?

For me, Hatem needs to get his arse in gear for the reserves and prove himself a team player, bide his time and wait for his chance whilst keeping his toys firmly in the pram.

I will put him on his pedestal once he does something to earn it

About Moreno

Raised in Tyneside and now spreading the Gospel of Shola down in shandyland! Follow @MorenoToon on Twitter !

106 thoughts on “Playing on a pedestal

  1. Rodz- I’m almost asleep but willshare this one with you, when I was out earlier I
    Got slapped for asking some lass if she had been on holiday and got caught smuggling drugs? Her resonse was why did I think she had been smuggling drugs, to which I replied my mate told me she had a good 10 inches of crack in her knickers.


  2. Seen the funniest thing today, was coming out of tesco and this kid ran past me with a leg of lamb under his arm, the security bloke was chasing him, shouted hey what you doing with that? Best reply I’ve ever heard, Yorkshire pudding, mushy peas Potatoes and gravy fk off ya daft cunt. Priceless


  3. Today’s the day. Finally. 7 feckin’ months! Finally I get to see a live game again. The new A-League season starts.

    Will Brisbane Roar continue their 28 game unbeaten run (which is actually 31 games long)?

    Some say Brisbane will flop – how can they possibly survive the loss of their player of the year, and their two top scorers? (Hmm, where have I heard that before?). And no team has yet been a success after winning the golden dunny seat.

    With Harry Kewell (Melbourne Victory) and Brett Emerton (Sydney FC) now playing in the league, will the standard rise? Will they draw the crowds? Will somebody turn up to a Gold Coast game?

    So excited I might pee my pants.


  4. BRIS – dya know which team he’s gone to? My nearest team is Guangzhou Evergrand – theyre sh*thot this season and they get 50k each home game, Guangdong province is like the footy capital of China. Everywhere else it’s aal aboot basketball…


  5. Bit of research shows that Robbie Fowler went to Thailand – playing for Muangthong United. He had a few decent games in the A-league, but never really made much of an impact after his first season here.

    And on an ex-Toon note, Michael Bridges has retired, to take up some PR position for Newcastle Jets.


  6. Dutch just doesn’t translate into English. It cost me more often than I care to admit…. 😥

    Bris- I’m starting to get into Aussie rules. Who should I support/not support?


  7. Also……

    mattspiro Matt Spiro
    Had a chat with Cabaye after France game. Doesnt seem to worry about ankle injury. Cant stop saying positive things about Newcastle!
    4 hours ago


  8. MDS: bit late to be doing that now that the season is over. I don’t follow it, mate. But Collingwood play in b&w stripes and are called the Magpies. Unfortunately they seem to be the team everybody loves to hate.

    They lost in this year’s grand final.

    Stupid game, if you ask me. Aerial ping pong, some call it. Male Netball, others say. They get big crowds, though. Often into the 50,000s in Melbourne. They’re pretty fanatical about the game down there.

    I’ve been to a couple in Brisvegas. There’s a lot going on, on the field – lots of players, umpires, messengers, trainers, interchanges happening all over the place. Can’t whip up any enthusiasm for it, though.


  9. Agree with what you say Moreno.

    Still I would play Benny behind BA against Spurs. But that’s only because I have masterfully tested our 4-5-1 system against Spurs’s 4-4-2 on Fifa 12 and can confirm that we completely dominated their midfield.

    I know,I know, Pardew can thank me later for this very valuable tip. 😀


  10. I agree with Ice, horses for courses, Pardew has to pick the players he thinks has the best chance of beating the team in front of them, each opposition provides different problems which may need different solutions. As Moreno says though, if he changes a winning team and loses he will get flack…..but then if he keeps the same and loses some will give him flack for being too predictable, oh to be a manager/coach 😀

    Pardew will play Benny when he thinks he’s ready and when it will benefit the team, give the lad a chance to settle, quality player but in his best game so far he wasn’t even our best player on the pitch imo……oh and even when he’s at his best he won’t even come close to Pedro, in my humble opinion of course 😉


  11. Hope Cabaye will be fine to play against the Spuds but if not it will be interesting to see who replaces him . My money is on it being Guthrie , but here is a question say Guthrie plays and has a brilliant game and we outplay spurs , what happens when Cabaye is fit ? straight back in the side or Guthrie keeps the shirt . I would keep Guthrie in , in that scenario , but Cabaye is a Pardew signing , could be the first real selection / man management test of Pardew’s time in charge .


  12. [email protected]……

    I reckon Kieran Dyer always brings his own doctor with him, cos he always manages to pass the medical and sign for teams. There again maybe he plays for nowt, or for a packet of Wagonwheels and a six litre pack of diet coke or summat….

    Marveaux had chickenpox when he was twelve so he “fails” a medical at Liverpool 13 years later. It’s all too bizarre…. 🙄 🙄

    A real pity for Dyer like, cos when he was good he was great…but he aint any more..


  13. Jonas is class hes on my pedestal everything you said is correct about him.
    Ba looks good and seems to have lots to his game but its early doors still but im going to put him on my pedestal anyway .
    Ben arfa has still got to prove himself i agree 100 % but i think the reason fans like him and the reason i like him is because he has lots of footballing ability but hes not on my pedestal yet .
    Best is not on my pedestal because he doesent have lots of footballing ability ! he has scored goals recently and long may it continue but i dont think it will his 3 goals against west ham are a good example they were terrible and all of his goals have come against lesser opposition and it is difficult to include a player who is so static however he has improved a bit with his workrate recently , the stats are funny though the fourth best striker in prem history hehehe based over how many games ? hes just not very good .


  14. Based on 16 games. Stat correct as of Wolves kick off, fourth most successful striker for goals to games ration in Premier League history.

    I can have the Leon Best argument until I am blue in the face and people still won’t agree.

    A striker’s job is to put the ball in the back of the net and he does that – consistently. People watch too much Barcelona nowadays and expect your strikers to also help out at left back.

    Leon Best contains much more skill and ball control than people give him credit for and to dismiss his hat-trick as terrible is crazy. The third in particular was an excellent finish.

    As for “and all of his goals have come against lesser opposition” —-> We were better than Arsenal last season then? In which he actually scored 2 (one wrongly disallowed)

    Thanks for the hugely flawed post though 😉


  15. Furthermore,

    just while I am on about Best. Didn’t he score both against Fulham this season in a 2-1 win? So it’d be fair to see those 3 points were thanks to Leon Best?

    Didn’t he equalize against Villa too?

    So basically, without Leon Best’s goals this season we would be 4 points worse off which would have us 8th instead of fourth.

    Or would Shola or Loven have converted those chances? 😆


  16. A strikers job is not just scoring goals and surely the stats dont allow disallowed goals ! time will tell but i would rather judge a player on 2 3 4 seasons not 16 games , your stats would have him a better goalscorer than shearer hehe
    form is temp class is permanent and all that hes just not that good .


  17. maybe lovenkrands defo not shola hes worse its the striker we dident get from the long lost carroll money i would have preferred to have scored those and many other goals . Im not knocking his goals over the last dozen or so games and i hope he proves me wrong and continues to bang them in but i would be surprised if he breaks in to double figures this season .


  18. First off, the stats don’t allowed disallowed goals…if they did he would have an even better record as I can remember 2 PL goals scratched off incorrectly.

    What is a strikers job then? If it’s also to hold up the ball and bring others into play then I suggest you watch this:

    It’s our most recent game against Wolves, you will find Leon Best doing all of the above. You could then watch the previous game against Blackburn in which he did the same.

    But fair enough if you are wanting to wait upto 4 seasons to judge a player…. 😯


  19. Dont have to be the most gifted player to be a great goalscorer.Take a look at Barrie Thomas’s record at Newcastle


  20. like i say i hope im wrong and he keeps scoring …. do you think he will break into double figures this season ?


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