Coloccini Vs Mbemba Vs the Premier League

How do our defensive 'rocks' compare?
How do our defensive ‘rocks’ compare?

Newcastle United has conceded 49 goals this season, which is 3rd worst in the Premier League and only one behind Norwich and Sunderland. Fabricio Coloccini has taken much of the flack for this, with fans citing the 34-year-old’s declining ability as one of the main factors in such a poor defensive record. He also happens to be the Club Captain and his lack of leadership no doubt has a big part to play in the lack of cohesiveness within the squad – but if he were to be removed as Club Captain, would his performance data back up the notion that he still has a part to play at this level?

This performance analysis will look at averages over 90 minutes so far this season. To get a balanced view, Chancel Mbemba and Fabricio Coloccini will be compared to 3 other Premier League defenders. First up is ex-Newcastle player Sebastien Bassong, who is playing in a side with an equally awful defensive record. Next up is a player many fans suggest would be ideal for the Magpies – Stoke City’s Ryan Shawcross. Finally, a player highly coveted by some of the bigger sides in European Football – Everton’s John Stones.

As with our recent full back analysis – these players will go head-to-head on a variety of statistics, with 10 in total. The winner in each field will be awarded with 10 points, 2nd place will take 5 points, 3rd will take 3 points and 4th gets 1 point. So lets get started.

Aerial duels won:

This is an area many fans have identified as being obviously weak for many years – and the stats prove it. Ryan Shawcross earns himself 5 points here with 70.59% of headers won. In third place is John Stones with 65.12% whilst top dog is in fact ex-Toon defender Sebastien Bassong with 73.15%. Coloccini gets himself 1 point with a measly 49.23% whilst summer signing Chancel Mbemba brings up the rear with only 46.84%. Clearly this is an area to be addressed in the next window.

Tackles won:

Take your best and worst performers from the last field and switch them, because this time Mbemba is now King of the Hill with an average of 2 successful tackles per 90 minutes. In last place is Bassong, with only 0.66 per game – whilst Ryan Shawcross keeps himself steady in 2nd place with 1.44. 3rd place goes to John Stones with 1.33 per game, whilst Coloccini nets himself a single point again with 1.26. Considering a central defender’s main job is to head the ball away and make tackles, Coloccini is lagging behind here by some distance…

Fouls committed:

Clearly professional fouls are sometimes necessary and unavoidable, but any fouls committed in a team’s own third invites the opposition to have a pop at goal – so it’s important to keep them to a minimum. The dirtiest of the defenders is Bassong, with 0.88 per 90 minutes. Taking a single point this time is Shawcross with 0.76. In third place is Mbemba with 0.60, whilst 2nd place is taken by John Stones (0.48). The cleanest tackler then, is Coloccini – with only 0.35 fouls per 90. It could be argued he commits fewer fouls because he makes fewer tackles, but fouls are still fouls.

Total duels %:

Now we look at who generally comes out on top when all of their headers, tackles, take on’s and free kicks won are taken into account. Showing why he’s highly sought, John Stones takes top spot with an impressive 62.42% of all battles won. In second place is Bassong with 61.5%. Next up is Shawcross (56.7%) and trailing behind again is the two Toon lads. Mbemba has 50.94% whilst Coloccini is the only player to win less than half his battles with 46.67%.

Defensive Errors:

This means mistakes leading to goal scoring opportunities for the opposition. Surprisingly, John Stones is the worst offender, with 0.14 per 90 minutes. In 4th place is Chancel Mbemba with 0.09. Taking third is Bassong with 0.08. Second is Coloccini with only 0.04 whilst Ryan Shawcross shows he is a machine, with zero mistakes.

Clearances:

Who has the fastest reactions when the ball is bobbling around in a dangerous area? Well John Stones doesn’t, with only 3.9 per 90 minutes. Coloccini is not much better with 4.28. In third is Shawcross (5.49) whilst young Chancel takes second spot with 6.35. Top dog is Norwich City’s Sebastien Bassong with a mighty 8.46.

Interceptions:

Here we get to see who has the best defensive brain and can read the dangerous through balls, cutting them off before an attacker takes advantage… This is finally where the Toon boys come to the fore. Mbemba takes the day with 2.85 every 90 minutes, with Coloccini on 2.40. In third is Ryan Shawcross with 2.28, whilst John Stones takes the last point with 1.90. Bottom of the pile is Bassong, with only 1.77 over the same period.

Blocks:

Going back to reactions, who puts their body on the line the most to save their team? As you would expect, the hard-as-nails Ryan Shawcross takes top spot with 1.18. Toon Captain Fabricio Coloccini shows he will put himself on the line for his team with 1.14 earning him 2nd place. In last by some distance is Bassong (0.54), who seems to run very hot and cold in his performance stats. One point goes to Chancel Mbemba (0.81) whilst John Stones takes third with 1.05.

Pass Completion:

The old saying ‘if in doubt, knock it out’ is a great fail-safe for defenders, but part of the modern game is about ball retention – which has obvious benefits. Showing how neat and tidy he is, John Stones leads the way with 89%. In second is Coloccini with 83%. Third goes to Bassong (80%), whilst 4th is taken by Mbemba with 77%. Failing to get a point in this field is the no-nonsense old school Ryan Shawcross with 73%.

Total Shots:

Not an essential part of a defensive set up granted, but a a defender that can chip in with shots on goal is a benefit to the team (so long as they remember where their main duty lays), because if they don’t score, they might just give a teammate an opportunity to react fastest and stick it in anyway. Plus, it’s entertainment for the fans! Winner for this one is Norwich City’s Bassong with 0.62 over the 90. In second place is Stoke’s Shawcross with 0.42. Third goes to Coloccini (0.39), whilst the final point is claimed by Mbemba (0.38). John Stones trails the pack by some way on 0.29.

Final Table:

1) Ryan Shawcross – 47 Points.
2) Sebastien Bassong – 39 Points.
3) Fabricio Coliccini – 36 Points.
4) John Stones – 35 Points.
5) Chancel Mbemba – 33 Points.

Conclusion:

Well the first thing that comes to mind is this – Is John Stones really worth upwards of 40 million pounds? He is tidy on the ball and relatively steady across the field, but he makes a lot of mistakes leading to chances for the opposition and his reactions are not great either. The fans are right to call for a Ryan Shawcross type player to be signed. Not only is he very strong in the air, but across all fields, he is the best defender amongst the above 5 by far. Our own defenders are very weak in 2 key areas – aerial duels and total duels. If it were not for Mbemba’s impressive tackling, our two defenders would offer very little when confronted by players with physical presence or fluid movement – which is a big concern.

Whilst Mbemba takes the wooden spoon here, it should be remembered that he is very young and this is his first season in the EPL. The margins between the bottom 3 of the above 5 are minimal and it stands to reason that Mbemba will improve next season. Coloccini shows that whilst he is steady across most fields, he gets bullied off the ball. Not ideal for a central defender at all. Finally, who would have thought Bassong would come out in 2nd place? Did the Toon make a big mistake shifting him on? He might be rubbish on the ball, but he’s a threat in the air.

Stats taken from Squawka.com

About Shamrock

Like everyone here, support Newcastle United. Not the easiest side to feel good about at times, but it's our side!

293 thoughts on “Coloccini Vs Mbemba Vs the Premier League

  1. With that spine and a few hungry, British based players coming in – we would probably have a lot of fun in the Championship and walk it.

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  2. SHAM well I think if we go down we will stay there for a few seasons unless we can get a decent manager there are some out there.
    It’s shameful where we are,Ime looking at the likes of B/mouth that have came up through the lges the ground only holds twelve thousand makes you think

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  3. Problem is Sham that whether we stay up or go down the squad needs yet another major overall. Players will be sold who aren’t good enough (many), players will be out of contract and we will sell players like Sissoko and Janmaat imo. It will be the third consecutive summer where there will be a major overall. How are we suppose to achieve anything with this turnover? Terrible indictment of mismanagement from the board.

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  4. Always the same Stuart apart from a few golden years. The ownership/ macro management of this club has been terrible for longer than I can remember. However that clear out needs doing now. There’s at least 12 who were never good enough for the PL. Hang your head Graham Carr.

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  5. Hull & Burnley both went down last season and they are sat 1 & 2 in the championship now. I personally think we have a better squad of players than both of them.
    Yes we will loose players like Janmaat, Krul and Sissoko – but I think we will have enough to come straight back up.

    Going down will set us back years, but on a positive it will certainly clear some playing staff, and hopefully Ashley will either decide to sell as this is the 2nd relegation under him or he will look to clear the boardroom and finally get people in who know how to run a football club.

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  6. From Football365: the gob****e speaks again. As usual, it is just gibberish. This, from the man who played Hayden Mullens instead of Tevez:

    “Adebayor will face former club Tottenham in the FA Cup on Sunday, and Pardew believes that while his forward can be described as a “maverick”, he will fare better than Hatem Ben Arfa, who “became impossible” for the manager to deal with at Newcastle.

    “As a manager you get different kinds of mavericks,” said the 54-year-old. “You get a rebellious maverick, a maverick who can produce a moment like Yala Bolasie. And you get characters who are mavericks. They are all different.

    “They all come with different ingredients and you have to make sure you hit the right buttons with them. I like to think I am old and wise enough to try and get Ade in a position where I am getting the best out of him.

    “Some mavericks you can lose, sometimes it gets away from you and becomes problematic. (Hatem) Ben Arfa up at Newcastle became impossible.

    “It hasn’t happened many times in my career and I don’t think it will happen with Ade. He doesn’t strike me as that type, he strikes me as a player that needs to have faith. I am expressing that to him at this time because I do believe in him.”

    I think asking Ben Arfa to play as a secondary full back might have something to do with the falling out.

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  7. Wikipedia, The Oxford English Dictionary and Mirriam-Webster have all e-mailed Pardew asking if they can include his definition in their next editions.

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  8. Georgio – do you not think we have better players than Hull or Burnley?. Or that Ashley would be forced to act one way or the other?.

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  9. STUART Yet another overhaul proves that the club is mismanaged at all levels . The scouting beggars belief and the development of young players is not much beter and has been for years now . The only young guns i see getting into the first team on a regular basis is Aarons and Mbabu if fit and Armstrong . We need a compleet overhaul of the Youth set up and a new head scout , their is just no excuses for the flawed signings of Thauvin , Anita and Cabella it must of been obvious too any half decent scout that they were just not physically up too the challenge of the EPL and Siem DeJongs injury history was obviously not looked into or just ignored. The total lack of not rebuiding the defence for years now , lies at the hands of the trainers we have had.

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  10. You have yer blue maverick, yer pink maverick, yer lesser spotted maverick. I fink I have been in this game long enough to let the best maverick to play for NUFC in 10 years fester in the reserves. It was difrent with Tevez and Mascerano and now with Ade, honest Guvnor.

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  11. Axel: if Aarons, MBabu and Armstrong all make it to the first team that will be a lot better than most other teams, especially since Dummett, Krul and Taylor are all NUFC products.

    Tell me how many Chelsea or Man City players came up through their ranks. These are the 2 clubs who are thought to have the best academies at the moment. West Ham don’t even produce their own players any more.

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  12. Axel: I don’t disagree that we need better scouting but it seems to me we are in the same boat as every other team in the PL.

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  13. Reading the reports on Johnsons trial, how any self respecting women would stand by him is beyond me. Is a lavish life style really worth that amount of humiliation? Let’s face it his cash won’t last too long now and when that’s gone what is she left with but humiliation, no trust, and a hubby who looks like a rodent. Poor cow want’s to get out now with some pride in tact.

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  14. Sharpy – If we went down there would be a hole of about £60m to fill. Ashley will sell the likes of Gini, Sissoko, Krul, Mbemba, Janmaat and Perez to name but a few to plug that gap. He did that last time but last time we had players like Harper, Nolan, Smith, Barton and Carroll. Personally I think it would be a mess because Charnley isn’t up to it and neither is McClaren. They would all have to go but then who will come to us in the Fizzy and manage the club? Personal bet would be Ashley would sell up and forget it as a bad job.

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  15. Our scouting system is a lost cause as far as I can see. You don’t need scouts to know we needed players like Shelvey and Townsend they are out there for all to notice. When our scouting has been in action it has been very hit and miss imo. For any Gem Carr has signed he has gotten us rubbish as well, factor in the players he’s missed out on and you have to wonder what the hell he does on his various scouting jaunts. Maybe I am simplifying things, maybe there have been many good players slip through the fingers because of finance rather than competence or lack of. What ever the case is, one thing cannot be denied, is the total lack of thought for the defence, it’s almost a bloody after thought as witnessed on the last day of the windows scramble for a left back 🙄 Lascelles and Mbemba are not enough additions, and we have kept players for far too long.

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  16. Is our scouting system to blame or the money men to blame though?.

    I mean the likes of Payet & Ayew were put forward by the scouts but the money men decided there was no profit to be had there. Bony was put forward but the money men decide he wasn’t worth what Swansea paid for him (about half what they sold him for).
    Yes I accept we have signed afew duds, but which club hasn’t?!. But had there been better players put forward and rejected by the money men before buying these duds?.

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  17. Stu – I don’t see Krul, Perez and Mbemba being sold personally. The others I think more than likely unfortunately, but of them there is only really Gini who I see being a lost to us.

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  18. Kim – I don’t think Johnson & his missus are married. I hope the Scum sued the little prick for the wages they have paid him during his lies!!.

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  19. Sharpy@171, That’s what I alluded too in my post. If that’s the case then it really isn’t fit for purpose. What is the point in scouting and identifying players only to give up time and again because of cost or no perceived sell on value. We really may as well not bother if that’s the true situation and we may as well wait for players agents to contact us and cut out the middle man.

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  20. Sharpy , even more reason for the lass to walk away then if no ties other than the child. Can’t say I would entertain living with a guy on the sex offenders register .

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  21. Sharpy: The Mackems have already said they will not go after Johnson’s wages and it is speculated that is because they don’t want any more bad publicity.

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  22. Kim – re the scouting, my point was more for those saying Carr should hang his head or that he is to blame. If I was him I would have walked along time ago coz his reputation has gone to rat**** thanks to money men.

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  23. Kim that lass will be treated like Defoe’s plaything for 5 minutes then tossed aside like all his other dolls.

    I hope she knows she won’t be set for life from this and when she comes back down to earth with a bump she will have a little one to look after and a jilted husband that maybe once dotted on her and now despises her. D’oh!

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  24. So where does the £60m come from Sharpy? Ashley won’t put that in again I doubt as he won’t get it back and will be left holding the baby longer than he wants.

    I think you’re being slightly delusional and optimistic if you don’t think 1)The better players will want to stay and 2) The better players who will bring in better money won’t be sold.

    Unless they’ll play for nothing of course…

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  25. Sharpy, I can see Carr resigning end of the season, he’s pretty old now and this could well be one relegation battle too many for him.

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  26. Troysta: I find Pards funny now that he is not at NUFC. Here is some more comedy from Ryder. He tries to defend Schteve by saying it is better than last year and we are getting there because we have 14 points from the last 12 games. He also repeats that La Manga was a “mini-preseason”. I wish somebody would tell the whole lot of them that the season is 26 games old.

    This is an “opinion piece” from Ryder where his opinion is to defend Schteve and ridicule anybody who questions the job he is doing. At least Ryder got free holiday though.

    http://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/newcastle-think-theyre-close-getting-10924423?

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  27. Lee Ryder is a Bell End who is so far up Charnleys arse it’s almost impossible to hear him. Almost is the unfortunate word

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  28. See Rogers has said on MOTD just now that doesnt want to any job until the summer, wants to keep on with hi break as too much preasure. Hope the board or more likely Ashley will turn to Benities (spelling)or Moyes now

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  29. Well the 5 Chelsea put past us not looking so bad when you consider they have put 4 past City, albeit City putting up more fight.

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  30. Absolutely incredible that the board have told Ryder that they can see some development from last season. 😯
    I would hope so co sideting £70m has been spent!
    If we go down then that equates to regression not progression.

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  31. Cheers Sham – some interesting stats, makes for a good comparison with other team’s players but I’m not sure how much it works with our own players – for instance, Colo’s aerial battles would be even worse if he went up against the same calibre of opposition as Mbemba does for us now, or as Williamson used to – Colo rarely comes out to head clear and rarely marks the opposition’s best option at set pieces, hence his duels are easier (although he’s still not much good at them)

    Mbemba has definitely been our best defender this season, regardless of the stats imo, think Dummett should be tried alongside him really.

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  32. Troysta/Winky: did you get an invite to the fan forum? I think I would get a taxi to O’hare airport now to see you there.

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  33. Man City’s team contained five teenage full debutants today – plus several back up players and young Iheanacho. Their subs were kids too. Not sure if the experience away at Chelsea was the best for them – but I guess they know where the bar is set now.

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  34. Not hard to work it out, Sharpy. in fact Eric worked it out very nicely a few weeks back. So how is it delusional when it’s pretty close to the actually figure give or take a few mil.

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  35. So Lee Ryder was the ONLY journalist in Spain to watch NUFC. The Chronicle say it like it is a good thing when in fact it just allows old Lee to suck up even more. Meanwhile, with Lee on his jollies writing his usual pap, another one of subordinates has broken rank. This after Chris Waugh all but called for McClaren to be sacked last week. Now Mark Douglass actually speaks his mind for once now that head boy Lee isn’t looking over his shoulder. He wrote

    “It’s a big leap from giving Shelvey the captaincy in La Manga to the former Swansea man ousting Coloccini at the Britannia but it’s not beyond the realms of possibility. In fact, it would answer plenty of the question marks that surround McClaren’s overly placatory management style.

    McClaren must – by now – have recognised that the decision to retain Coloccini as the captain was an error of judgement. While there was cold, hard financial logic at play when the club decided to hand Coloccini another contract rather than spend on a defender, they were under no obligation to give him the armband.

    It is understood that Shelvey was especially vocal in the dressing room after the Chelsea defeat. Sources close to the player suggest that he would be prepared to drag the club back from the Championship if he has to – but he didn’t come to Newcastle to tread water. Rather than sink into the mediocrity around him he wants to raise collective standards. We haven’t heard that since Kevin Nolan.”

    He is dead right about McClaren’s placatory management style and having someone on the pitch who is not as meek would be useful. Maybe he should pick the team as well 🙂

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  36. And another thing. With all the talk about lack of bottle and commitment on the road, what the f is Sharpy’s Stevie Black doing? He is supposed to be the motivation guru. No wonder we are where we are between him and McClaren running down the tunnel after the other team score.

    Here on the pre-game show a couple of months ago a few ex-pros had a right go at Schteve for allowing the motivational guru to be on the pitch before a match. They thought it showed weakness in the Manager.

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  37. Eric – Explain to Sharpy why the club will be £60m worse off next season if we go down. He thinks it’s a delusional figure

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  38. Is Steve just too nice? He has dragged the same cronies around with him ever since his last successful job at Twente first time around. The only change has been Cathro who nobody really knows if he is any good or not because he has a very limited CV. There is a difference between delegation and dereliction that Steve doesn’t seem to know.

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  39. Stuart: I posted a link to the amount of TV money available for the next 3 years but I think it went to moderation. The gist of it was that the bottom club in the PL get 97 million for just being there and the amounts go up to over 140 million depending on how many games are televised and where you finish. The Championship money is tiny in comparison even after parachute payments.

    That is why Stoke can afford to spend 12 million on Shaqiri and 18 million on Inbula. That is why we were talking about 20 mil for Berahino coz Fatty doesn’t want his golden goose killed.

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  40. What is the parachute payment for relegated team’s though? I assume if you drop but come straight back up then the losses won’t be too significant?

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  41. Stu – it may not be difficult for you or Eric, but I’ve never owned a club that has been relegated or know for a fact the financial goings on of a club that has been relegated … oh hold on, neither have you 2 😆

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  42. You get £60m over 3 or 4 years so it still be a pretty nasty loss even if just one year. So come straight back up and it’s at least £40m just in TV money. Not to mention reduced gates, lost PL revenue for league placing a and a drop in corporate.

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  43. It’s easy, Sharpy. Look at the accounts for the year we were in the Fizzy and then look at the TV deal next year. Really not too difficult.

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  44. I reckon the biggest challenges for team’s getting relegated from the Prem is making up for losses in sponsorship outside of the TV money – and balancing the wage bill.

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  45. Eric – I don’t recall purchasing Steve Black, so he isn’t mine. But I have spoken positively about the bloke in the past.
    That was based on the work he did with Jonny Wilkinson while he was at the Falcons. What Black had there was a man who was will to work his socks off to be the best possible player he could. He wanted to be the best he could possible be. Don’t take my word for it, read what Wilkinson has to say about Black. He credits him greatly for helping him achieve all he did. Black worked a lot with the Lions as well & was seen as big influence on their success too.
    Could it be a case of give a furniture maker Oak and he will make a masterpiece, give him a lump of MFI though and he’s ****ed.

    Sham made the point that our team doesn’t work as hard as their opponents during the 90mins of a match. If they can’t be arsed to work hard then there is little a manager or coach can do.
    Ranieri is doing a great job at Leicester, but their success is down to a group of players who WANT to work hard & WANT to succeed. Now that probably has a lot to do with them engaging with how Ranieri wants them to play. Our players can’t be happy with how McClaren has them playing.

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  46. If the Toon vets relegated then they get 55% of the TV money that PL team’s get in year 1.

    In year 2 they get 45% and in year 3 it’s 20%.

    Hopefully though we would be back after 1 year and the likes of Gini, Sissy , Colo, Cisse and Janmaat would have been released/sold – so wages should not be too problematic to manage.

    I m not convinced dropping down for one year would be the end of the world – even 2. The battle of course is getting back up and staying there. It’s a 2 year race against the clock.

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  47. Well if Charnley is sacked then maybe Ashley could get Stu or Eric in

    Our financial position is different to how it was when we last in the championship.
    This is the trouble with these figures being published. People look at them and all of a sudden believe they know how to run a football club.

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  48. I disagree Shamrock. EVERY team in the PL gets 38 million from the domestic TV deal and 47 million from the overseas deal. That is before a ball is kicked.

    The estimate for the TOTAL parachute payments if we remain in The Championship for 3 years is about 70 million.

    Our sponsorship money is not that significant and the gate receipts are now a fraction of the TV money. I think Ed did some figuring a while ago and the gate would be less than 20% of revenue when the new TV deals click in.

    Relegation is a really big deal with a 60 million per season loss of revenue being pretty conservative as Icedog said. Especially for a team like NUFC who are on TV a lot.

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  49. Newcastle have not spent one game on the telly under this new TV deal and its only losses if you have it in the first place.

    I still belive we can cope for a year or 2 if we drop down, but it will be a monumental challenge staying up when the go back to the PL – as all the other teams will have had a year or 2’s full TV payments to strengthen their squads and profile.

    Of course it would be much safer to stay up – but we need a huge overhaul of our squad anyway so unless we spend a vast amount in the summer I reckon we will still be in a battle to stay up next season too.

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  50. Shamrock: the way the PL payments are set up means you are not getting 55% of the total you would get if you stayed in the PL. Quite a bit of the money is based on where you end up in the table and the amount of televissed games. Therefore, it is not 55% of the full pot.

    I wish that link would post because it explains it better than I can.

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  51. Unless if course Ashley does the unthinkable and actually employs a few people that know how to run and manage a football club for a change.

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  52. Sharpy: you can name one person that Blackie has been successful with and yet we have a squad of 25 who you say yourself are unmotivated even after receiving instruction from a motivational guru. Isn’t that a bit of a contradiction?

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  53. Anyhoo, I can see a lot of Championship clubs going bust trying to Chase the Golden Goose. Any team that has been there a while will have little chance against teams that have just dropped out of the Prem. Your Leeds and Blackburns wtf May never make it back up again…

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