No New Year cheer for United! West Brom 1-0 Newcastle

Berahino gives Baggies the win

Berahino gives Baggies the win
Berahino gives Baggies the win
Newcastle failed to record a firs win of 2014 at the the first attempt after losing to West Bromwich Albion yesterday afternoon.

Saido Berahino scored the decisive penalty a few minutes before full-time after Matej Vydra was brought down by Tim Krul, but the reality is that the performance just wasn’t good enough.

Neither side created much in front of goal although West Brom did have the better of the limited chances on offer in what was in all reality a tame affair. The result is undoubtedly a blow for United, but perhaps the more concerning news is the red card awarded to Mathieu Debuchy which will incur a three game ban, and the news that Fabricio Coloccini will be out for four to six weeks with a knee injury.

I can’t comment too much on the match as I’ve only seen the limited highlights on offer and I had the joys of a 13 hour shift at work yesterday so missed it all in real time, but from what I’m gathering the performance just wasn’t there.

I said in the article which covered the match that no game is easy and that you must perform in every game if you want to do well in the Premier League. United still have an heir of inconsistency about them and it would appear that our purple patch is over.

We’ve now got two home games coming up starting with the visit of Cardiff in the FA Cup on Saturday followed by a league game against Manchester City before away trips at West Ham and Norwich bring January to a close. How many points would you fancy from those?

If anything these last two games have confirmed to me what I kind of always thought – that we are a top-half team and nothing else. With a bit of wind behind us we could finish a bit higher like we’ve done before, and when faced with issues we could finish lower like we’ve done before. From this though we just have to move on.

Howay the lads!

West Brom: Ben Foster; Billy Jones, Gareth McAuley, Jonas Olsson, Liam Ridgewell, Youssouf Mulumbu, Claudio Yacob, Morgan Amalfitano, Stephane Sessegnon, Chris Brunt, Nicolas Anelka

Subs: Boaz Myhill, Matej Vydra, Saido Berahino, Zoltan Gera, James Morrison, Shane Long, Diego Lugano

Newcastle: Tim Krul; Mathieu Debuchy, Fabricio Coloccini, Mike Williamson, Davide Santon; Yohan Cabaye, Cheik Tiote, Moussa Sissoko; Loic Remy, Shola Ameobi, Yoan Gouffran

Subs: Rob Elliot, Massadio Haidara, Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, Steven Taylor, Vurnon Anita, Hatem Ben Arfa, Papiss Cisse

Attendance: 26,430

269 thoughts on “No New Year cheer for United! West Brom 1-0 Newcastle

  1. Sharpy,
    To me KK’s example was simply exaggerated to make a point.

    That being that if Ashley was guaranteed to make a profit on an asset (that asset being a player in this case) with the odds being that his value would increase over a couple seasons.

    Then any manager in the world would buy that player if they had the capital available to them. MA is no different.

    I’ll use another ridiculous example. If Suarez was available for 25 million and was willing to come to Newcastle (because for some in inexplicable reason he chose us. I’m quite sure MA would offer that amount, knowing that he could probably sell him at a profit in two years time.

    It’s got nothing to do with football ambition, its got to do with money.

    Fair enough, 100million is massively excessive because nobody in world football is really worth that. Besides maybe Messi and Ronaldo. But his point in what MA would pay at value and potential value remains.

    I think if there was a bargain out there at 20mil that was willing to come to us. Ashley would pay it.


  2. Georgio,
    Anybody who rates Shola as a footballer isn’t really worth arguing with.

    If you prefer a striker who has scored 3 goals and four assists in his last 80 appearances, over a striker who scored 13 (with seven disallowed) so actually 20 – in a season he’s been piss poor, then fair enough mate. You’re entitled to your opinion 🙄


  3. JJ 😆 you are coming across as a try hard with your efforts for a bite.. I apologize for my earlier comment, obviously it has cut close to the bone 😛 😛


  4. Sharpy,
    IMO, the reason Ashley doen’t spend 20 on four or five players is because he won’t get value on those players. They may only be worth 15 million and their clubs are asking for 20 million.

    If you were a businessman, would you rather pay 4.5 million for a player who is likely to be worth 20 million in three years.

    Or would you rather pay 20 million for a player who is likely to be worth 20 million in three years?

    Ashley is a businessman.

    If four or five players worth were available for 20 million each and all were likely to be worth double that in three years. Then MA would in all likelihood buy them. He’d be a poor businessman not to.

    But what is the likelihood of that scenario? That is why is doesn’t happen.


  5. Ice – yeah but at least he’s showing ambition going for players like Cabella 😆

    JJ – I agree with you re Cisse. We either go with him or sell him. If Shola was in sublime form and had scored 7-8 goals or was instrumental in the goals we had scored then I could understand him getting in ahead of Cisse, but he’s not. But if Pardew still isn’t sure on Cisse then get rid and buy another.

    I know your point re Finnbogason, but no player comes with guarantees. He’s a top scorer in a very average team and he’s scoring goals. At £5m he’s got to be worth a punt ahead of say Gomis who scores fewer in a better team.


  6. JJ – I’m no Shola fan, just an illustration (out of the box if you like) of how poor Cisse has been. By the way that 20 last season was 8 PL goals. It’s now 9 in over 50 PL games. I could almost handle that if he wasn’t useless at absolutely everything else. Sorry to be so boring and shallow, I’d love a touch of your arrogance.


  7. SHARPY@230 i agree with your points mate,we are not talking real big money for the lad the way the market is today its chicken feed,for ffs we have payed shola a hell of a lot more over the years for nowt imo


  8. Troy I know you have your own theories, but I personally find it a bit suspicious that on this thread KK and JJ have appeared only when the other is not around 😯


  9. So with 30 appearances in hand he still has six PL goals more than Shola and mire assists.

    I think I’d prefer Cisse playing. Even in his poor form. He’s more likely to score, assist and keep hold of the ball.

    Fair enough, he won’t give the CB a sore toe like Shola does. But I’m willing to sacrifice that for goals.


  10. Cisse has to play tomorrow, Give him the 90 not 10 minutes here and there where he’ll snatch at any chance coming his way trying to make an impression, Ben Arfas the same he tries to hard to catch the eye in his cameos.

    Can you imagine what a force we could be with a firing front line of Cisse, Ben Arfa, Remy and Gouffran ?


  11. Aussie,
    Why are you so paranoid everyone is out here with a worm on the hook?
    Is this why you have an obsession for Troy? You have a Trol fetish.

    Even if you disagree. I find your views balanced and refreshing.


  12. Sorry, Shola is gash and should not be playing.. the fact that he is keeping any other striker out baffles me 😕


  13. @Georgio
    There’s no denying Cisse is a better goal scorer than Shola. Unfortunately that is all Cisse is good for – if he isn’t scoring he offers zilch, less than Shola imo. It is evident when you watch us play that Shola is a better foil for a strike partner (which I believe is why he was back to his useless self when played up front on his own against WBA).
    In his Newcastle career Cisse has been given two penalties out of pity. Pity! It’s just getting a bit sad for all parties now. Fresh start for everyone needed.


  14. @JJ
    Are we more likely to win though?
    Btw what formation would you play to incorporate Cisse into the starting line up?
    It feels like we’ve tried every trick under the sun to recreate his initial form. His scoring spree was under 4-2-3-1, which is the reason why many said he stuttered when we began last season under 4-4-2. However half another season of 4-2-3-1 and a couple of games this year of the same formation and people are no claiming this isn’t the most suitable for him. What is ❓
    How the hell do you build a team for a striker that doesn’t score conventional chances?


  15. Solano,
    We’re going down the same road here. But Cisse is better at holding the ball than Shola. What Shola is better at is challenging for the aerial ball. That’s it.

    Cisses passing, movement and ball retention is better. So as long as were passing the ball on the deck (which we have been), Cisse is the better option.


  16. Solano,
    I’d play Cisse in a 4-2-3-1 formation.




    ——-Sissoko—Marv—Ben Arfa———-



  17. Ameobi is better at holding the ball up then Cisse.
    And if Cisse is the better option why have we been playing better football with Ameobi rather than Cisse in the team?


  18. Solano,
    We have been playing better football because Cabaye returned after his sulk and Tiote has found his form. They are a superb midfield pairing.
    With more of the ball we have created better chances and our defense is under less pressure.
    Even now and previously when Cabaye has left the field, Tiote looks less in control and we don’t play anywhere near as well.

    In the long term I’d like to see Cisse up front with Remy just behind. But there are many variations which include the entire squad.






    Depends on the game really. Ben Arfa, Marvauex, Gouffran, could all be in there depending on whether we play 4-3-3 or 4-4-2 or 4-2-3-1. There could be dozens or formations.


  19. Solano,
    To me, “holding the ball” means keeping hold of possession. I don’t see how Shola hold the ball better than Cisse when Cisse’s passing stats are 5% better and his dispossession stats are nearly 10% better.

    That means Cisse keeps hold of the ball better. Shola actually has a decent first touch – probably better than Cisse which is what fools people. It’s his second ans third touch that is usually shite.


  20. All of Cisses goals last season bar Southampton and West brom were conventional: Stoke, Bordeaux, Man utd (twice) Fulham, Everton, Anzi, Benfica (Twice) and Villa.

    Look at a compilation of his goals for Metz or Freiburg and the majority are tap ins. Even in that first half season mixed in with those amazing goals he got his fair share of bread and butter ones: Wolves, Bolton, 1st at Swansea and both against Liverpool.

    He can score all types of goals, a proper finisher but he cant show it sat on his arse watching Ameobi lumber around and retain his place despite putting in the odd good performance in every ten…


  21. JJ –

    “If you were a businessman, would you rather pay 4.5 million for a player who is likely to be worth 20 million in three years”.

    That’s exactly how MA looks to do it and I’m nee businessman but it makes way more sense to me than folking out £100m on one. The other significant factor is wages. A player £4.5m would fit our wage structure – a £100m player wouldn’t.
    Do you honestly see Ashley spending more than £20m on a player never mind £100m.
    Of course I think resale value plays a part in the players we sign. If we sign 24yr old Finnbogason for £5m and he hits 15 goals then his value would treble, but if he doesn’t then £5m isn’t as bad as £10m for a misfiring Cisse.
    Ince at 4m would quadruple if he did well (Zaha at £15m being my logic)
    Boyata at £3-4m has potential to increase in value.
    But you go out and sign someone for £50m hoping to make a profit and there is only a handful of clubs worldwide that could afford to buy him – and that player would need to be playing like a Suarez, Neymar, Messi or Ronaldo … at Newcastle – I don’t see it personally


  22. Remember when Britton was the best passer in Europe?
    You can’t pluck two stats to suit your agenda and rest on that.
    Even with Cabaye and Tiote back (which they were even when Cisse was starting), he has still looked God awful.
    Excuses for him are starting to wear thin, bollocks to his confidence, he gets chants for him every game regardless of how shite he plays. No one makes excuses for Ameobi, he isn’t that good, but he has offered the team more than Cisse.


  23. Sharply,
    I don’t even think KK believes 100m is going to be spent.
    It’s highly improbable in the current circumstances.
    The only point he was making was that if a profit could be made and it was garaunteed then he would do it. He is money driven.

    Like I said, very exaggerated example but I get his point.


  24. Solano, no I don’t remember that.

    These stats have been taken over th e last three seasons. The only one distorting them to suit their argument is you.

    Tiote and Cabaye started one and a half games together with Cisse starting.

    We were ahead or level in both until Cabaye got substituted.


  25. I’m not distorting anything! I’m saying two stats don’t tell the whole picture.
    Here you go pal, an actual source:
    Care to provide a source for any of your claims?
    I think your disdain for Shola has blinded to just how poorly Cisse has been playing over the past year and a half.
    On paper it should be an atrocity but on blogs and in the media barely anyone thinks it is that strange. Why do you think that is, JJ?


  26. Good old Ashley, keep your money in your pocket. Get rid of Jonas and Obertan and put the money in your pocket as well. We wont get relegated and every penny you get back is a day closer to you walking away forever. Just loan players instead and your save even more money and hopefully will get an owner with more ambition. You got 32 million of wonga and all the premiership money for last season, not forgetting this years new t.v deal.


  27. JJ – I also get the point. But I still don’t think he would. I’m sure he risk assessed everything on his way to becoming a billionaire. How many players bought at £50m have been sold on at a profit?.
    Far sooner sell 3 £5m players for £20 and make £45m profit than hope a £50m player will sell for £95m.

    It was an unrealistic suggestion and instead of acknowledging that as you have KK maintains its a possibility:

    “I’m not sure why that’s difficult to understand?

    £1m, £10m or £100m, it’s all the same to Mike Ashley. He’ll pay whatever is necessary as long as it’s worth it”.

    No he won’t.


  28. Solano,
    Most people can’t stand seeing Shola play. “Barely anyone”. 😯 That’s your local Geordie hero.

    The only stat you provide is a random comment from a portion of a season that I didn’t give two shits about.

    I’m on my phone. Go to EA Sports stats, or follow NUFC stats or soccernet stats. They will all tell you the same thing.

    It’s an atrocity overall and on paper Shola is preferred over Cisse.

    If we took a vote you’d see the majority feel the same.


  29. Maybe, but I think unlikely.
    If you can’t find the evidence JJ we will have to exclude them from your argument..
    That this discussion is taking place reflects badly on Cisse, and Cisse alone.
    Why would Pardew play Shola if he thought Cisse offers more at this moment in time? I know you want him gone but his decision to play Shola over Cisse/HBA has certainly been justified so far.


  30. Can’t be arsed to argue about Shola anymore.
    He deserves credit for his role in our upturn of fortunes this season and for playing well in comparison to his ability.
    An upgrade would transform our team is number 1 on my transfer wishlist. No idea who though…


  31. Solano,

    I’m still not sure what your Britton vs Xavi factoid has got to do with anything. It has nothing to do with the current debate.

    The fact Pardew prefers Shola over Cisse just shows how poor he is. He has to go backwards to donkeys to play his donkey football. He wons him there to win the aerial ball because if we lose control of midfield his only other tactic is to go long ball. That’s how limited he is as a manager.

    Typically English response. If plan A doesn’t work go long ball.


  32. I also said that Cisse dersered to be dropped when he did. Shola did well for a couple games but has been back to shit for a while and so he now deserves to be dropped and Cisse given another chance.


  33. JJ
    The limited manager seems to be doing well though according to the vast majority of the nation 🙄
    The Britton vs Xavi point was that one stat doesn’t prove anything. Where did Cisse receive the ball, how did he receive it (in the air/ground etc), which direction did he pass the ball in.
    The Britton – Xavi articles were all tongue in cheek as it was one simplistic stat that didn’t offer much.
    “Typically English response”,
    Sorry, but you’re again making daft claims that have no evidence.
    We were top of the league playing long balls last year, this year we are around the 15th lowest.
    Care to retract your statement? 🙄


  34. Those links you post give Ameobi a higher average rating than Cisse 😆
    Using your own site:
    A website that you tried to use as a source has actually contradicted what you’ve said 😆 😯


  35. Solano,

    The ratings come from win ratings. And he’s 0.15 higher having played his only two good games against Norwich and West Brom at home.

    If you weren’t such a fool you would see that. 🙄

    The vital stats are the goals, the passing, the ball retention and the assists. The ONLY stat that Ameobi is well ahead of Cisse in is aerial ability. Even then he only wins around 50%.

    I see you fail to see the obvious point again. Waste of time you are.


  36. Against Norwich and West Brom he averaged around 7.8. Two of our easiest games of the season. He still only averages around 6.78. Because against nearly every other side he’s been piss poor.

    This despite Pardew’s donkey football playing to his “supposed” strengths.

    Cisse’s stats are also weakened by the fact that he has appeared in less starts and more as a very late substitute.

    Can you deny that his passing, ball retention, goals and assists are all higher than Shola’s?


  37. “The ratings come from win ratings”, what is that supposed to mean? The rating is based on player performance – ALL ROUND CONTRIBUTION. Ameobi is higher than Cisse this season according to your own website. End of discussion on that point.


  38. “The fact Pardew prefers Shola over Cisse just shows how poor he is. He has to go backwards to donkeys to play his donkey football. He wons him there to win the aerial ball because if we lose control of midfield his only other tactic is to go long ball. That’s how limited he is as a manager.”
    That is what YOU said.
    Cisse vs Shola this season = subjective.
    You asserting that Pardew plays Shola for “donkey football” and to be typically English and resort to longball = objectively wrong.
    If you can’t even admit something when all the evidence supports it, then there is no point continuing this discussion.


  39. Solano,
    I see you have yet to admit to the stats about Cisse being better than Shola with regard to assists, goals, passing and ball retention.

    Are you ever going to admit to that?

    I admitted Shola is better aerially. He wins a lot more aerial ball than Cisse. Most of it ends up with the opposition any way. But that is what sees his overall % at 0.18 higher than Cisses. That and the fact that he’s had more starts against weaker opposition.

    Can you admit to the stats above?

    If you can’t and continue to ignore them. Then yes there is no point in continueing the discussion.

    So on a final note… If Shola in a “good season” is 6.78 with no goals and no assists. And Cisse in a shocking season is 6.60 with 1 goal and 2 assists. Then it’s quite obvious who the better striker is and deserves more time in the long run isn’t it?


  40. I have never denied those stats (though different websites tell different stories with regards to assists), I have said “pass %” doesn’t tell the full story just as you rightly say “aerial duels won %” doesn’t.
    I have also never denied that Cisse is the better striker.
    I have said Shola is having a better season.
    I have also said that your claims that Pardew plays Shola for long ball tactics is bollocks.
    Still yet to see you admit either of those though 🙄


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