There is plenty of reaction and ire floating around at the moment regarding the name change at St James’ Park.
I’ve no doubt there will be more to follow aswell as everyone gets round to having their say, and with little football on the horizon it’s sure to dominate the ‘blogs and discussion boards for a good few days yet.
However I thought I’d try something different and look at some football issues instead as I’ve had my say in a couple of article about it. What I’m going to look at is our summer signings and how they’ve done now that we’re nigh on a third of the way through the season.
Yohan Cabaye has started off fairly well at Newcastle. He’s grabbed two goals and three assists and has started every league game this season. He’s struck up a great understanding with Cheik Tiote and has shown that he is not afraid of the physical side of the Premier League.
The best thing is that there is more to come from the former Lille man. He himself admits that he is still acclimatising to life in the Premier League and has never previously played in the orthodox 4-4-2 system that we’ve used for most of the season. The downside is that his performances are already attracting the interest of some of the leagues bigger sides, like Manchester United, if you believe what the gossip columns have to say.
While Cabaye is supposedly being watched by Manchester United, a former Red Devil is starting to show his worth at NUFC. Gabriel Obertan is a funny one, and I’m not just talking about his odd shaped head!
He’s been the target of some abuse from our own fans (best in the land) who have cited his lack of end product as a cause for concern. One idiot even said that they “never want to see him in a Newcastle shirt ever again” on this very ‘blog, which is a tad harsh when that comment came less than ten games into his stint at a new club.
It goes back to what I’m saying about some of our fans. They can be a bit simple and don’t realise that a player can contribute without setting up 20 chances a game or scoring a hat-trick. For those who fit that bill I suggest you actually look at Obertan’s contribution to the team. His pace is a deadly weapon which gives us an outlet ala Stoke, and his propensity to sit on the wing combined with it draws opposition players towards him which frees up space for others. This is not to mention that he can fire in a cross on occasion and has two assists to his name this season.
Perhaps the most headline grabbing summer acquisition has been Demba Ba. His eight goals, including two hat-tricks, after a slow start has been the stuff of dreams for headline writers. I said all summer that Ba would be a good acquisition for us. All you need to do is look at the form book and you can see that Demba is raising the Ba.
You can have that one…
It’s not just his goal contribution that should be given credit though. His all round play deserves special mention too. He works tirelessly defending from the front which helps the whole team out. He is also striking up a decent partnership with Leon Best which has yielded 11 goals from 11 Premier League games so far.
Sylvain Marveaux is a hard one to judge as he has hardly played for us in part due to the form of the team and in part down to a long injury lay off last season which meant that he had to work on his fitness before featuring for the first team.
However in the few times we’ve seen him he has displayed quality. He looks comfortable on the ball, has a turn of pace and has a bit of skill. He looks very exciting, it’s just a shame we haven’t seen more of him.
Another summer signing that we haven’t seen an awful lot of is Mehdi Abeid. The Algerian U21 international has mainly featured for the reserves and has a knack of scoring spectacular goals. There are no Nolan-esque tap-ins with this lad.
However when he has appeared in the first team he has done rather well and has proved to be another one of the better players for the future along with the likes of Haris Vuckic. Abeid has done so well that he is being primed for the “Tiote” role when the Ivory Coast international heads off for the African Cup of Nations in the new year.
Davide Santon is still an unknown to us at the moment. He suffered an injury just after he joined and has not long been back from it. In his brief appearance against Spurs he did well enough without pulling up any trees, but it would be foolish to judge him purely on that ten or so minutes.
One thing is for sure, and that is that the lad has potential and should he fulfil he will become a real asset to the club going forward. I’m sorry, but you don’t get fizzed over by so many of the most widely respected names in the game if you haven’t got something about you as a a player.
In short I don’t think we can be disappointed with any of our summer acquisitions. In way or another they’ve all contributed whether it be in the Premier League, League Cup or in a pre-season friendly and I don’t think we could have expected more from the six who joined us in the summer.
I know the renaming of St James’ Park will dominate things for a while yet, but if you fancy a change then this should be right up your street. Oh and one final thought…
You know the best thing? There is more to come from all of them of these signings!