James Perch – A full-time scapegoat?

The Mansfield Zanetti
James Perch is becoming a bit of a cult hero these days. Well, to me he is anyway…

Of course he isn’t the greatest player to have even graced the black and white stripes, but he does give his all or the cause which goes a long long way in my eyes.

It’s amazing what a difference can be made when you play players in their favoured position. This is happening with James Perch now, and to be fair to the lad he is not disappointing when played in his preferred central midfield/defensive midfield role. For instance on Sunday he was one of our best performers, if not the best on the day.

Thing is, it’s not exactly been an isolated incident either. If you look at Perch’s performances in the middle he’s actually done rather well and certainly hasn’t been the disgrace that some people like to paint him out to be.

Yet if you take a look around there is very little credit heading in the direction of the Mansfield Zanetti. Ordinarily I wouldn’t be fussed about it and would just see Perch doing what he has been doing as a player doing what he is actually supposed to be doing, but not many players have had the same amount of venom spat about them as Perch has had since he joined the club last season.

That venom has subsided recently, but we still see some rather odd comments about James. I mean in the wake of the Norwich game he was castigated by some for, well, for I don’t know what actually as, like I said, he was one of our better players.

It’s almost like it has become a form of habit and people are just looking at Perch and blaming him for things that essentially are nothing to do with him. Is it not about time people laid off him?

He gives 100%, can tackle, can pass, will run, chase, harass and put his body on the line.

Is that not enough?

About toonsy

A lifelong Newcastle fan and current webmaster of this very 'blog who has the sole aim of creating a place by Newcastle United fans, for Newcastle United fans.

69 thoughts on “James Perch – A full-time scapegoat?

  1. Yeah Toonsy he has done well in the MF but I still dont want to see him in the defence πŸ˜‰ ❓ actually maybe he should take over from Willo πŸ˜†
    reet back to do a bit


  2. To be fair, Perch was so absolutely shocking in defence when he first arrived that it was always going to take more than a couple of good performances for people to start to rate him. He has certainly won me over and has probably made Guthrie expendable in the process.


  3. MOM on Sunday for me – he did everything asked of him, won tackles, interceptions, passed well – if it had been Tiote we would all be saying it was an outstanding performance. Best position is defensive midfield but he also played well at left back against Arsenal. Gives 100% and a good squad player at the moment – not what we need long term but he has been decent recently


  4. Agreed – some people think we should be signing 11 Messi’s and be able to compete with the likes of man city etc – think the swissramble article on our finances show where we actually are in the scheme of things and sitting well below citeh, manure,chelski, arse, spuds and bin dippers financially, obviously this means they can offer better financial terms to players which in turn should allow them to buy better players which therefore means they are buying champions league quality and therefore qualify which in turn allows them to make more money ti reinvest in the squad which in turn gets them in champions league which in turn ….. you get the idea !


  5. Perch was brilliant on Sunday and also remember how poor we were at Blackburn and in the second half, he came on and we looked better.

    He likes a tackle but that’s ok because he wins the majority [take note Smith!] but it’s not just his tackling for me it’s recognizing the danger and providing cover for the full-backs or generally just anywhere on the pitch, if there was gap, he would fill it.

    He knows what he’s good at and won’t try the the ‘Hollywood’ ball like Butt used too…


  6. Next up, I would like to think that people might get off Simpson’s back. He too is not nearly as bad as some would suggest and the abuse that he is getting is way out of line, and he is another who gives nothing short of 100%. I am not saying he is the best RB we have ever had but neither is he the worst. Does anyone really think that him hearing the stuff that is being said is going to encourage him to play better?


  7. Perch is best in that MF role and played really well on sunday and was worthy of motm . I do wonder if some of the stick Simmo gets is because people know he’s dragging his heels over a new contract , just a thought as some people might think he’s not signing therefor not bothered like. I think he’s done o.k .Willo is the one i worry about but i really don’t like to get on players backs cause of the confidence thing but it has to be said he looks out of his depth .


  8. Well said Tonytoon!. i cant see the reason behind slating him, he always gives 100% every game and has made some fantastic goal line clearances which in reality had gone in would have knocked us down the league table.
    You cant say he doesnt read these blogs,if I was a player I would.


  9. It narks me when fans get on players backs like they have with Perch and Simpson to name a few.
    If we were battling relegation and it’s clear they aren’t interested, then fair enough barrack them but the issue is, we are sat in 6th place and both players have played a part in that.

    You don;t get to 6th place by having a team full of inferior players , it simply doesn’t happen and you don’t get to 6th place by having what’s usually described as 3 or 4 inferior players that’s looked upon as being poiintless being on the pitch.

    So let’s take the so called Rubbish Perch out and Simpson and ply the game with 9 men as they are basically useless as some say and let’s see where we would be in the league.

    My guess is bottom with the letter (R) already at the side of our name.

    We all know some of our players are as gifted as others but one thing they do possess, is the ability to battle for the team and help the team to amass points, which is what the league is all about first and foremost.

    If anyone wants a team of full on 100% quality, then I suggest turning your attention to Barcelona or Real Madrid and give Newcastle a break and that way, you will just about always be happy.

    Saying that though, I’m sure some *******s could pick fault with those teams and have 3 or 4 of those players as being crap πŸ˜†


  10. i would actually like to see perch, tiote and cabaye in the middle I’m sure it will give cabaye license to roam.


  11. Well said. He has definitely grown on me and is a more than able backup for Tiote. The only concerns I had in the last game were some of our tactics. CM at LM, LM at LB, LM/AM at RM with viable alternatives on the bench that could have balanced things out. Then again, I’m not an EPL manager!


  12. So then…when’s the article going up about the finances? πŸ˜€

    Companies House has reported a Β£32 million pound profit…


  13. I always thought his natural position was right back and its fair to say he’s pretty poor in that position, although I’d still be tempted to play him over Raylor at full back…

    As I said after Norwich I thought Perchy was our best midfielder. He’s a decent player in midfield and he can break up play nicely. Its just a shame he’s not a bit taller and stronger otherwise he’d be knocking on Willo’s door.


  14. Alex
    was just about to say that
    team v WBA
    Santon(try)-Wilo(no choice πŸ™ )-Colo-Guti(liked him v norwich there)


  15. @17
    meant to be that cabaye plays just in front of Peote, encouraged to play in the hole behind hatem demba ba (HDB as they shall be known for years to come) :mrgreen:


  16. I think Perch is a confidence player, I read an article a while ago where even he himself wasn’t sure if he was good enough for the league and it was his girlfriend who had to convince him he was. As a fan, that automatically makes you question the player if he isn’t confident in himself.
    The irony is the other player mentioned – Simpson perhaps shows a little too much confidence at times, with talk of England.

    To be honest, I didn’t see the Norwich game, I didn’t even get to hear it. Not long got back from bloody Thomasland at Drayton Manor – a late treat for the boys birthday, to add to it I got to listen to Thomas on DVD ALL the way down!!

    I was lucky enough to catch MOTD2 though but couldn’t really get how we did from the highlights. Cracking 3 points and good to get back to winning ways. If we are to achieve Europe for next season then we need all our players trying their heart out. So pleased Perch has found form and confidence and really hope he continues to play well for the rest of the season and beyond.


  17. I’ve seen the highlights now Sharpy. They made us look quite a bit better than we actually were. It wasn’t a good performance. We had some decent spells but they were fairly shortlived. We were quite poor in the second half. Shola played well when he came on.


  18. What was the starting line-up? I saw Cabaye down as starting on the LW and was that perplexed at that I missed who else started and where πŸ˜•


  19. Perch has made a remarkable turnaround. I was at St James last season when he scored an own goal to give Stoke the victory. A mass murderer would have got better support. Well done to the lad just hope Williamson can make the recovery cause at the minute he is playing himself out of the side.

    Hands up i must admit I am one of Simpson’s detractors just cannot take to him at all.


  20. Woo hoo Blackburn 1 up on the scum 😈 πŸ˜† They deserve it too by all accounts the better side says Merson πŸ˜‰


  21. Sharpy – for the line up just imagine you put every player we had bar Cisse and Krul in a totally different position and you wont be far off. OK that was a bit far but you are right about Cabaye, but it did him nee good. Jonas however was good at LB and showed Santon how to do the running forward but remembering his position thing. Jonas is wasted there long term though so I expect that stop gap to end very quickly if Santon screws his head back on quick. Perch has done enough to convince me we need never be stuck for DM great challenge stats that boy, he has gone up a point in my estimation. He’s now at 1 point. No, seriously he did very well. I thought the subs were the strangest though, taking HBA off when he was starting to come back into it….. but it all panned out to grinding out a result and not having a last-minute equaliser at home. Dull but functional. What’s Pardew doing with Demba? He seems to be running about everywhere but forward. πŸ™


  22. Yeah Cabaye did play out there but played the wing like a player who really wants to play in the middle. Lol.
    He also played too deep when he was on the wing.
    That’s one of the reasons I wished Jonas had pushed on a little bit more than he did. He did well as a fullback though.


  23. TBH I haven’t really heard Perch getting that much stick this season except when he was covering at CB, but apart from that I haven’t heard much, I do know that Simmo seems to get more than most, he seems to get even more than Willo and he is a bumbling fool


  24. Perch does ok when called upon but I’d like to see us have better players come in as replacements.


  25. You are right about Perch!
    Look i would’nt pick him to play for England and not every game was a grate one for him.
    However he gives it his all and you cant fault him, a good utility player that you know will give you a hundred percent each time he’s on the park.
    I say keep him!


  26. Yep keep Perch he’s turned me round I used to have nothing good to say about him. Only caveat is that Pards can’t get to thinking he can play ANYwhere! Beware the temptation of putting him in at CB Alan!


  27. ‘He gives 100%, can tackle, can pass, will run, chase, harass and put his body on the line.’

    And yet you dislike Ryan Taylor. πŸ˜•


  28. Sharpy17 March 20, 2012 at 22:01

    If you listen very carefully I think that’s the sound of a scum bubble bursting’

    There was also the sound of Lawro’s bum squeaking today as well. πŸ˜†


  29. Mark Lawrenson: β€œNewcastle still cannot compete with Liverpool, and I don’t think they will get into Europe.

    β€œThey will sell two of their star players, at least!

    β€œThey will struggle to hang onto the stars who are looking to play in the Champions League, and like Andy Carroll, I know the club will take the money.”

    “Newcastle will fall short of Europe this season – and next season – because I can see their top players leave in the summer.”


  30. Mark ‘Wishful Thinking’ Lawreson cuts a drab and sour old figure who hankers afyter the scousers glory days, and , seeing they are possibly in decline, babbles bitterly about the shortcomings of their rivals hoping it will never happen that they will replace them. well tough, Lawro, it’s happening. πŸ™‚


  31. Old Dogleash will destroy them just like he destroyed us, the honeymoon is over and all the have is Gerrard, but how long before he breaks down again?


  32. Hmm. The praise given to Perch is justified for his performance but the all of sudden acceptance of him bemuses me.

    Williamson seems to have taken the mantle as scape goat, will it just take a few decent performances for the fickle fans to accept him as a SQUAD player.

    I may do an article on whether all loyalty has gone from football. We complain about footballers only caring about money and not caring about the club but some on here are just as bad. Whether or not footballers should have twitter or not is a different debate, but for our own fans to drive Simmo away from it is just disgusting.

    The guy has given 100% every game since he has got here, ffs we would have killed for a player to be doing that a few years ago, yet now if they aren’t good enough for top 6 we’re calling for their heads.

    As Wolfie said, we will NEVER have a squad of perfect players, I see the way we are going, I do actually believe we will sign a left back and shift Santon over next season, then what; Jonas will get the brunt, fans laying into him saying he his the weak link,
    If people want loyalty from players they should show a bit themselves, i’m all for improvement, but the disdain shown for some of our players that despite giving their all, may just not have that quality to cut it in our future AIMS, is shameful.

    Be careful what you wish for, we wished for superstar players, we got them: Owen, Duff etc. At least at the minute our players give two squats about us.


  33. Fuckin Lawro, absolute mug that man. Mind, in all seriousness he looks like he’s dying on MOTD. Maybe a bit harsh, but here’s hoping he’ll head into retirement soon enough…


  34. Solano-Agree with you mate, I’ve said the same about Simmo, about Bestie and about Shola for years now….they all still get it though πŸ™„


  35. SolanosTrumpet has hit the nail on the head in
    my eyes. Perch hasn’t been good enough since day one. I live in Nottingham and keep up with Forest as my dad supports them. Calderwood loves Perch, that’s why he got a move here. Calderwood also attempted to sign Best on several occasions when Forest were in LEAGUE ONE.
    Perch is a donkey but fair play to him, he was solid against Norwich and always puts in 100%. Thing is, we could sign any championship player and get 100% off them…doesn’t mean that they’re good enough for us or even teams like Wigan, they still have to have some quality.
    People always seem to moan about Raylor yet defensively he’s been amazing except for one game against man city and come on, what team hasn’t been torn apart by them? Simpson has always been crap in my eyes and hasn’t changed my opinion, he shows up for a handful of big games a season (man utd, Sunderland etc) but he’s generally a liability. Williamson is also a liability. We can’t afford to have that in the team, people like Raylor and Jonas don’t set the world alight every weekend but they’re solid, dependable and very rarely make mistakes. That is then a platform for the flare players such as HBA and Cabaye to take on the challenge of breaking teams down.
    This is the best Newcastle team all round that I’ve seen (I’m only 20 so not much to compare to), but in my eyes with a few additions such as a solid centre half alongside Colo, we could easily be on a par with Spurs.
    This team has performed over and above anyone’s expectations, if we can keep the transfer losses to a minimum and build a little, who knows what we can do next year. The problem is, I don’t think THIS team is capable of the same next year. If-heaven forbid-we lose 2 or 3 and don’t replace them, we’ll be back in mid-table at best and that wouldn’t feel good after this season.


  36. Is Perch a donkey though? I can’t remember him give the ball away with his passing and he seems to come into his own in that DMF role. Pardew obviously sees something in training because he keeps getting cameos and he’s not Pardew’s signing. He lacks the physique for CB but has is in defensive midfield. He doesnt look great at full-back but in centre-midfield (where there is more protection) he looks good and actually has an engine on him.


  37. JP March 21, 2012 at 00:27
    ‘Raylor and Jonas don’t set the world alight every weekend but they’re solid, dependable and very rarely make mistakes. That is then a platform for the flare players such as HBA and Cabaye to take on the challenge of breaking teams down.’

    It’s no coincidence that we had such a long unbeaten start with Raylor and Jonas at full strength. Yes is wasn’t always pretty but they were damn hard to break down and it was only the real powerhouse teams that did in the end.


  38. Perch had a horrific start to his NUFC career with those first bunch of games where he played right back. Since then though, whilst he may only have had cameo’s, he’s done decently in all of them. Even when we played against Spurs last year, Perchy did well against Lennon I seem to remember. He didn’t have the physique for centre back but he couldn’t really be blamed for the four goals we shipped at Norwich for example…which i seem to remember he did by some..

    I think he could cover for cup and Europa games and he’s shown he can manage it in the Pl….another decent squad player nowadays but he’ll never get acceptance, just like Best or Simpson, or even bloody Ameobi.


  39. DJG-Do you not reckon Staylor made a pretty big impact on that run as well? Santons defending is pretty poor but I wouldn’t say its markedly worse than Raylors….plus its probably given Jonas a bit of a breather since having to cover all that ground.


  40. Unrelated, had to share “Aston Villa midfielder Charles N’Zogia has dismissed reports of disagreements with manager Alex McLeish and insists he is happy at the club.” From the BBC gossip site. Insomnia is going to be pissed that his name is wrong AGAIN


  41. Evil Franky – That’s a Β£32m PRE-TAX and PRE-DEPRECIATION profit.

    Β£32m on paper. Not Β£32m made of paper πŸ˜€


  42. DJG
    March 20, 2012 at 23:13

    β€˜He gives 100%, can tackle, can pass, will run, chase, harass and put his body on the line.’

    Yes. I’m still waiting to see these set-pieces he apparently specialises in. And if that is his run then, well….. πŸ˜‰


  43. @Toonsy

    He is more effective than Cabaye at the moment.

    I’m impressed with him everytime he plays in midfield.

    But please keep him out of defence Mr Pardew.


  44. Biggest scapegoat for me is Obertan.

    He gets criticized week in week out for poor final ball.
    But all our midfielders are guilty of this…

    He gets back, tackles, has great movement, is a good outlet from defense so we arnt stuck passing in our own half like we were against Norwich.

    He provides a threat with pace on the counter attack which makes the opposition defend deep, giving our midfield more space.

    His movement is excellent always offering a pass or a quick one two movement.

    His final ball and decision-making has been poor at times, but no worse than Jonas, or even Raylor and Cabaye at times.

    Yet he is a scapegoat… Why? We always play better football with him in the team… If anything, he needs to be more selfish like Ben Arfa is too selfish…


  45. @Trumpet

    No one is the scapegoat like you suggest.

    It’s simply giving an honest opinion of how the individual plays.

    Perch got criticism when he played in defence. He deserved it because he was poor. Ever since he’s been slotted in midfield he’s done well. He deserves praise.

    Willo gets criticism because he is poor. Not because he’s a scapegoat.

    You are trying to make something out of nothing. 😯


  46. I would actually like to give Ba a rest and Jonas a rest. Both look Jaded.





    Obertan————————————-Ben Arfa


    It may not work, but I just like the look of it and the balance.

    Couldn’t possibly play worse football than we are now.


  47. Perch , has had many many bad games at centre half and very few good games in midfield and imo he is not good enough the same as simpson williamson shola , why play spidey at full back and perch in midfield when we have players like ferguson and vuctic emerging as talented young players !
    Simpson invites wingers to cross every time for the centre half to deal with and that is not exeptable , Williamson cant control the ball very well and puts lots of work Kruls way , Perch and Guthrie do the basics well and make good squad players .
    Our core players like Tiote and Krul should be the next 5 years of this club moving forward and be strenthened by more good players but who thinks that will happen ! not me , a football club that makes 30 to 50 million every year is mikes dream come true .
    JP @49 is spot on .
    Shola is close to the same amount of goals as Messi although shola 50 goals are spread out over 13 seasons and Messi 54 are in this season ! πŸ™„


  48. Mark Douglas saying Toon would listen to offers of Β£15 million for Tiote – a bit low IMO (Henderson cost Cesspool Β£20 million!)

    “Meanwhile, The Journal understands that Cheick Tiote remains fully committed to Newcastle despite a fresh set of reports linking him with a move to Chelsea.

    The Blues have been linked with a Β£30m double swoop for the Ivorian midfielder and keeper Tim Krul, who recently signed a four- year contract with a significant pay bump.

    United will listen to offers around Β£15m for Tiote but a source close to the player insisted that Tiote remains β€œvery settled” at St James’ Park and won’t push for a move.”


  49. @KeithR

    You are giving too much praise to Vukic and Fergie.

    They simply aren’t good enough (yet) to hold down a starting position.

    A lot of players reputations improve the less they play.

    It’s the Steve Harper scenario. He was Givens equal until Given left and then discovered he wasn’t.

    For me, Perch does a better job than Cabaye of late.

    Cabaye has more talent and looks easier on the eye but has been pretty ineffective in the second half of the season.


  50. Troy how do you know that the youngsters arnt good enough when they are never given a chance.

    Surely its better to play a young left back at left back, give him some experience, and allow him to improve, than to play a right wing at left back?

    There are far too many player playing out of position and what is the point of having these youngsters if they never get played?

    Kadar surely can be no worse than Willo now?

    These “youngsters” around 20, they should be getting game time by now or moved on…


  51. @JJ
    Well I can on comment on what I’ve seen when Fergie and Vukic have come on. Out of their depth.

    Pardew and the training staff must see the same.


  52. ” Williamson seems to have taken the mantle as scape goat, will it just take a few decent performances for the fickle fans to accept him as a SQUAD player.”

    Erm, what a nonsensical thing to day?!!

    If Williamson plays well from now until the end of the season then of course the fans would accept him.
    The fact is he was very poor against Norwich and his ridiculous ‘bit of skill’ increased the apprehension in the crowd and heralded the appearance of nervousness throughout Newcastles play.
    He’s also been poor in several matches recently with some of his bad play and mistakes contributing to us giving away goals and points.

    But we are supposed to clap like blind seals and be grateful are we?

    I hope he does turn it round and hit a rich vein of form, I love it when an underdog does well, but I’m not going to pretend. I’m not going to say I think he is good unless he provides me a reason to.

    He is no more than a squad player but it is possible to be a squad player and still not be good enough for that role, you know?


  53. Just catching up on the articles and must say you’ve hit the nail on the head for me pootle. The vast majority of us call a spade a spade and judge it how we see it. Never mind the permanent scapegoat. If someone plays poorly and ends up costing us points by getting the very basics of the job they get paid so much to do wrong then fan disdain is totally understandable


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