Commend or Condemn?

Cabaye has come in for criticism in recent weeks

Cabaye has come in for criticism in recent weeks
Reading through forums and blogs, I’ve noticed that fans seem to be split as to whether this team at it’s present time is to be commended or condemned.

I’m referring to Newcastle fans as a whole on all forums by the way and not any particular one. I just thought I’d get that point across.

Now what I mean by this is, we appear to have mixed views among fans as to how our season is panning out and as to how certain players are coping, whether it’s first team regulars or fringe players coming in and doing a sort of utility job, like James Perch for example or Ryan Taylor for example.

What I’ve noticed is that a fair share of our players have come in for what I believe is unfair stick. As in regular stick, not just the odd indifferent game.

On the whole, it cannot be denied that some players haven’t quite got to grips as of yet. Players like Gabriel Obertan spring to mind. Shola Ameobi is another who has came in for a hell of a lot of stick and has been labelled as a complete waste of space by a section of fans, but on the flip side he’s also been praised for bringing some much needed hold up play and the occasional point-grabbing supersub appearances for us.

I’d be deluded if I tried to make anyone believe that we have some kind of super squad or super team and obviously, as much as I’m ever the optimist, I also understand the need for improvement, over time, to make this team capable of achieving what ALL of us want, which is ultimately silverware and success.

Now obviously, we aren’t going to achieve this with the team/squad that we have at any stage as we all know, but the ingredients are there to give us a better than ever chance of moving towards that by tinkering and fine tuning.

The bare facts are there for all to see as in what we have at this present time and what we can realistically achieve in this season, which is at best a Europa League place and at worst a very very respectable finish, based on earlier predictions by all and sundry, which mostly were a contentment of mid table, to a down right depressing struggle, which some had predicted.

Many fans have us down as OVER achieving this season as it stands and yet, too many also appear to question the capabilities of almost all of our players, yet those same players have got us to this stage of the season.

It’s got to the stage where even Cheik Tiote was getting questioned as not being good enough by some. Now Yohan Cabaye is getting the very same questions asked and even Captain Colo and his leadershipof the team is being called into question. Danny Simpson has been a virtual ever present and yet many fans are calling him garbage and worse, saying he’s not good enough for this team. Some are even citing that the reason he’s garbage is because he loves himself, or he thinks he’s better than he actually is?

All I see, is a committed right back who isn’t quite the finished article but is able and willing to do whatever is necessary to ensure we can compete with what we come up against and for most of the season he, as well as the rest of the team, have all played their part in ensuring that indeed, we can compete.

Naturally throughout any season, a player will underperform and ultimately over the course of the season, some will perform better than others and the odd one’s will simply be not good enough to command a regular starting slot.

Now considering we are a club that is smack bang in the middle of transition, I would say that we’re treading a path. Although hard and torturous at times, we are ploughing through and making the right inroads.

How far we have come as a club and a team, in terms of basically re-inventing ourselves can be evaluated from the point of the season we were relegated.

We had players that were trying to find their feet in an underachieving team that boasted players who had the potential to afford us a very respectable finish to that season but as we all know, when things don’t go as planned, some players go missing and some lose confidence and before long, the inevitable happens – relegation.

Getting back to now though, regardless of certain players not supposedly being up to standard, we are sitting 6th even after a dodgy run of games and we are not there by luck. We are there because we have a team/squad, that want what we want regardless of some not being as gifted as others.

Remember one thing!

All those players who have started for us, have all played their part in the good of the season as well as the indifferent part and as a unit, that’s what we need and that’s why we are where we are.

I know it’s all about opinions, good, bad or indifferent, but as anyone can see, if they take a step back and have a really good think about the situation we WERE in, to the situation we find ourselves in NOW…I think praise for the team/squad as a whole unit is more in order than singling out certain players for the chopping block for now because we have to remember that a lot of these players have either been here for less than one season, or have been thrust into the team from being a sort of fringe player, used as utility players, for example, Ryan Taylor and have and will take time to fully adjust.

Some players naturally will leave for different reasons; contracts up, don’t fit into our pattern or are simply swayed by bigger clubs and Champions League football, and we know this will happen as it always does and it’s about replacing those players with equal or better.

In a nutshell, I think we have done admirably this season considering. And for me, I can only commend each and every player for their contribution to a season of 6th place up to now, what many would have laughed and scoffed at before it kicked off.

What’s your thoughts lads and lasses?

22 thoughts on “Commend or Condemn?

  1. Reckon our squad is underrated purely because they havnt been played to their strengths enough. One of which is 433 so my team for norwich (with the supposed injuries we’ve got) is:
    Perch Willo Colo Santon
    Cabaye Guti(can swap yohan and jonas around depending on full-back performance)
    HBA Cisse Ba
    I’ve excluded guthrie in the XI because as I’ve previously stated, I think hes shit (unless hes on a good day, which is rarely)


  2. I think the team should be Commended for battliing well in games and helping get us where we are, but I also think they need to be Condemneded for switching off or not turning up in games.
    Yeah we are sitting pretty in 6th but I do believe that other teams have helped us be in that position and its not all down to us.
    If we finish in the top 6 it will be a good yr but if we drop out of the top 6 we shouldn’t be happy considering we have been there all season and at times were sitting in CL spots so I would consider it as us throwing it away and all the hard work wasted.


  3. Lately we been guilty of two things .1. thinking the job is done when it ain’t and 2. a severe lack of concentration ,mainly at the back.
    Having such a good start seems to have lulled the lads into a false sense of security but as we all know it ain’t over till the fat lady sings . They deserve lot’s of praise for their efforts but let’s see what they can do to keep us in contention for Europe , like a teacher i will give my marks at the end of term . Nice article by the way Wolfie. 🙂


  4. Well balanced and realistic article that one, Wolfie. It’s nice to see that the bland truth is that we are doing ok, have a reasonable core of good players, and a few good utility ones, basically getting through the season by applying hard work and perfecting their game as a unit. A few signings in the summer would probably make us look a serious threat next year but this one has been good really, can’t grumble about me ticket money.

    For me, the real issue now is to try and get our back line coached not to switch off and to hold a disciplined line – let Tiote (when fit) or another DM monitor the middle, and our other midfielders get the ball moved about so our forwards have some good passes to run on to. Remember back in the day when Dreamboat used to surge infield and put a cracking pass in or blast one at the goalie. Ahhh, that was then…. That’s all really, we have the players, we did when we had Best, Ba & Lovenkrands as first choice so we surely have the right lads up front now?

    Is Simmo a likely starter tomorrow? I understand Tiote is a massive doubt so who is his natural replacement? Abeid?


  5. Big Dave – the fact that other teams have been equally profligate doesn’t really diminish what is a premature achievement with a team that was never designed to be a runaway success in what is, for all intents and purposes, year one. The fact is that Man U & Spuds are experiencing the same inconsistencies, and we haven’t climbed above them. I think that many of the premier league squads this year are woefully thin compared to previous years because budgetary constraints are starting to take their toll. It only takes two or three key injuries for a good team to become a middle table one for a lot of the sides in this division, and we have to be one of the most vulnerable, which shows that we have secured a few creditable results with some below-par teamsheets.


  6. AndyMag – I didn’t even want to say it. 🙁 Don’t get me wrong I don’t dislike Danny boy but he aint a Tiote replacement any more than Cisse is. I’d rather see perch there. 🙄


  7. bit of both really, great at the beginning sloppy midway, Man utd home game – west brom home game. two prime examples!!! i know which i’d prefer 😉 😉 , lets just hope, come the end of the season, we will all be commending them on a brilliant season (apart from cup comps again!). just hope Mike backs the club again , come the transfer window 😐 😐


  8. The problem is that success brings expectation, and Newcastle are victims of their own success this season.
    The reality is that with the pre season we had and the of player changes we had in the summer, I don’t think there would have been a toon fan on the planet or anyone connected with the club could have kept a straight face if you told them we’d be 6th with 10 games to go.

    I’ll hold my hands up and say that I have given players stick that, after seeing NUFC Stats posting regarding the same players it would appear I’ve been slightly hash.

    Have we done better than expected – yes. Have some players underachieved this season – IMO, yes. Could we have done better in some games this season – again IMO, yes.

    But overall, the players, manager, scouts, chairman and owner should all be commended for what has been a very good season so far.


  9. Isn’t it nice to see Fatboy Nolan and Fat Sam slip out of the automatic promotion places in the Championship? 😀

    Hope they miss out.

    They can join Joey Barton in one of those “ambitious” Championship parties 😆


  10. Tsunki
    As would I, feel that Guthrie just purely isn’t good enough for a team fighting for the top 10, though think he might fare well at Villa (a team I dislike because the press likes them a lot despite how theyre playing). Its obvious that guthrie is gone in the summer (no new contract, unfortunately we can’t sell hm for a few bob) so instead of showing other teams that they could get a mediocre-crap player for free in the summer we should be playing our youth ala abeid or vuckic.


  11. It’s hard to say really, credit was due and was given for the excellent start. They have been a bit sloppy in recent months though. At the start of the season we tried to stay unbeaten for as long as possible, that was a fantastic attitude, even if we don’t win lets not lose. That attitude seems to have gone now. It would be nice if we could get it back for the last 10 games.


  12. Toonsy
    seriously ❓ brilliant, bunch of wankers they are, the fans aswell, got some at my school, happy to criticise newcastle when their team’s in the championship. “Newcastle was in the championship a coople of seasons agoo 😕 .”
    “Yeah but we won it only losing a couple of games 😆 .”
    “You’re only doing well cus youve got an ex-west ham manager (pardew) and Striker (Ba)”
    “Yeah, but you’re captain was ours and your manager was an ex NUFC gaffa, the former is shite aswell now”.
    “yeah….but…. 😥 ”


  13. Results have went our way today like. A replay for the scum and toffees so another game for them to have to play, and Fulham well beaten today.


  14. i think maybe one of the biggest problems is that we got to safety mega quick, then in true nufc fashion started blabbing on about how good they were, all the players and manager sucking each other off and then the concentration slipped. they were too busy basking in their own glory to knuckle down and remain fully foccused. Even now, we still have more than 1/4 of the season to go ffs but look at the way everyone is talking, the way posts are written, papers are written, players and mamager talking.. you would think they were already on holdiday wouldnt you. They need to man the fuk up, and finish what they started before we slip right down as we have been all year and end up a hell of a lot lower than what i feel we could do if they applied themselves. Notihng has been acheived yet and if we finish up 9th or 10th who will still be pleased? yes its a good position but without a doubt we will all finish the season with deflation as we have been so high for so long its sad to see it slipping from our grasp. tmrw will show alot i think and we will know from that which direction we are heading in this season.


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