TFI – Player Ratings vs Liverpool – 11 May

Click here to go to the discussion thread by Cal

To come up with these figures we ask forum members to rate each player’s performance in the concerned game out of 10, which we then average out to get a rating representative of the fans’ views, we also collect a few user comments to summarise how the player did and show a few different viewpoints from the board. The top scoring player is man of the match; the lowest is mug of the match. This time 15 members cast their votes and shared their opinions.

As you’ve no doubt heard mentioned in every report on it, this match pretty much represented the entirety of our season condensed into a single afternoon. The team was set-up defensively; 5-4-1 with Shola alone up top, but it proved to be a good call as we played well in the first half, going close a couple of times and getting a goal when Skrtel put Gouffran’s cross into his own goal. After the break everything started going wrong, and in 3 minutes around the hour mark we conceded two almost identical goals from free-kicks being played to the back post, and then Shola given two yellow cards in seconds for arguing and being sarcastic with Phil Dowd, who would also wrongly send off Paul Dummett three minutes from time.

In what should be his last game in a Newcastle shirt (unless he gets a testimonial or new contract), Shola Ameobi earned man of the match for a troublesome performance up until his comical sending off, with our users rating him 6.64. In what is hopefully his last game in a Newcastle shirt, Luuk de Jong earned his 3rd mug of the match in a row, taking his total to 4 in 12 appearances. The team averaged a 5.52, respectable by our recent lowered standards, while Pardew got a 4.60, his highest rating since the Palace game in March. Continue reading

Preview: Liverpool vs Newcastle Utd – 11/05/14

Match preview by Cal, click here to go the our match discussion thread

This Sunday afternoon marks the climax of what could very well be the most disappointing season in recent memory for both clubs taking part in this match.

Despite making no permanent signings in the summer, Newcastle had an excellent first half of the season, fuelled mostly by the creativity of Yohan Cabaye, goals from loanee Loïc Rémy and the hard-working displays of the likes of Debuchy, Tioté and Gouffran, daring to flirt with the idea of a return to Europe as they sat in 6th and just 3 points short of Champions League football on Boxing Day.

However, it was not to be. Since that day we have lost 13 of our 19 league games, earning just 16 points and setting a record Premier League losing streak for the club. We’re now in 9th place, 27 points short of 4th place, guaranteed that oh so important top 10 finish that various club officials have harped on about in recent months, although we can be overtaken by Stoke City on this final day.

The January transfer window saw us sell our best player and, again, fail to make a permanent signing, instead only bringing in another loan signing; the misfiring Luuk de Jong, who is seemingly incapable of striking a ball and has been outscored by Shola Ameobi since his arrival. A 3-match suspension for Rémy, who looks set for better things after his loan, quickly followed by a 6-week lay-off due to injury has showed us just how bereft of striking options we are as a club, scoring just a single goal in the 9 games that he has missed this calendar year.

To make matters worse, the only senior striker currently under contract into the next season, Papiss Cissé, recently underwent surgery on a broken kneecap that will keep him out for several months, intruding into next season.

We’ve seemingly alienated one of our few creative players in this post-Cabaye world, with recent reports that Ben Arfa has fell out with Pardew being followed up by the Frenchman’s lawyer claiming that his manager’s entourage were spreading false accusations in the press. He hasn’t played since.

In addition to our inability to attack, we’ve also had one of the leakiest defences in the league, and should we lose there’s a chance that we will have conceded the most goals of any club not to be relegated this season.

The fans are now in open revolt against the management and ownership of the club, manifesting in the form of media campaigns openly calling for Pardew’s head, walkouts, constant chanting and abusing of the manager to the extent that he was scared to leave his dugout, and a wide range of banners that conveniently attract TV and photographer cameras alike to draw national attention to the issue (a preview of some for this game can be found here).

I suppose it’s apt that we will play this game in our new grey kit, its lack of saturation perfect for a club drained of its passion and ambition, reduced to a mere marketing platform for the brands plastered on the shirt and about the stadium.

The hosts have their own problems too, and they follow a somewhat similar arc, taking a bit longer to reach the disappointment however; they also started the season in great form, demonstrating the importance of retaining your top players as the same Suárez they prevented the sale of has won numerous player of the season awards and will win the golden boot, having already scored 31 goals in 32 appearances, with his strike partner Sturridge in second place on 20.

This attacking force fired them to Champions League contention throughout the season, and then the top of the table and looking like champions-elect through April, guaranteed to win the league if they didn’t slip up in their last 3 games. However that’s exactly what they did, dismantled by a Mourinho master class one week, and then drawing from a 3-0 position against a Palace side with nothing to play for the next. These 5 dropped points threw away their 3 point cushion over a Man City side that now only need a point from West Ham to seal the title, unless Liverpool win by 13 goals.

Team News

Davide Santon and Sammy Ameobi may return from injury, depending on late fitness tests. Hatem Ben Arfa is seemingly in exile, while Papiss Cissé and Ryan Taylor are long-term absentees. Adam Armstrong, who has been our third sub of choice recently, is away on international duty.

Liverpool are only missing former Newcastle player José Enrique, who has missed much of this season with a knee injury. Former Sunderland player Jordan Henderson returns from suspension.

Expected line-up:

<krul>
<debuchy> <williamson> <colo> <santon>
<sissoko> <anita> <tiote> <gouff>
<gosling>
<ameobi>

Where to Watch/Listen

The match is live on Sky Sports 2, with coverage starting at 14:55, just 5 minutes before kick-off. Sky Sports 1 is home to the Man City match from 14:00, which will no doubt touch on our match too, albeit with the focus on Liverpool and the title.

Radio commentary is on BBC Newcastle (local), BBC 5 Live Sport (national) and talkSPORT (international).

Overseas TV coverage (via nufc.com)

beIN Sports INA 3 Premier +HD
beIN Sports Mena 11 HD
Be Sport 2 (Lux)
C+ Futbol (Spain) +HD
C+ Sport (Poland) +HD
Diema (Bulgaria)
Digi Sport 2 (Hun) +HD
Dolce Sport 3 (Romania)
ESPN 2 Caribbean
ESPN Play Latin America
Fox Sports 2 (Aus) +HD
Fox Sports 4 HD (Ned)
Fox Sports Plus (Italy) +HD
GOL Sports 2 +HD
GOL Stadium
Idman TV
J Sports 2 (Japan)
Kanal 285 (Digiturk)
LTV Sports 2 (Cyprus)
Multideporte 1
NBC Sports Live Extra (USA)
NBC Sports Network (USA)
NTV+ Sport Hit (Russia)
OTE Sport 2 +HD
PremierLeaguePass (NZ)
QQ Sports Live (China)
Sky Mexico
Slovak Sport TV1
Sport 2 (Israel) +HD
SportKlub 1 (Cro/Ser/Slo)
Star Sports 4 India
SuperSport 3 (Za) +HD
SuperSport 5 (Africa) +HD2
Telemundo
Telenet Sporting 3
TV2 Sport Premium 2 HD (Norway)
ViaPlay + HD (Den/Swe)
Viasat Sport (Swe) +HD

How do you think Newcastle will do? Have your say in our match chat thread here.

Liverpool Fan’s Thoughts Ahead of the Match

Originally a forum post by Yacob, click to read/comment

It’s the final set of questions for the season and we only got one reply, which is disappointing. I’ll spend the summer trying to get accounts authenticated on all the main forums to ensure next season is better on replies. Anyway I went to the Kopworld forum and here were the questions:

1 – How do you think you’ll line up?
2 – How do you assess Liverpool’s season?
3 – Who would your player of the season be for Liverpool?
4 – What are your current views on Rodgers?
5 – Which players do you see being key for both sides?
6 – What do Liverpool need to do in the summer to ensure they push on next season?
7 – What have you made of Newcastle’s season?
8 – Are you disappointed with the last two results? Have they cost you the title?
9 – Scoreline prediction?
10 – If your football club was a vegetable, what vegetable would it be?

Olivavu

1 – How do you think you’ll line up?
I would expect us to start with Mignolet, Johnson, Skrtel, Sakho, Flanagan, Gerrard, Henderson, Coutinho, Sterling, Suarez, Sturridge. But I would want Agger in for Sakho.

2 – How do you assess Liverpool’s season?
So near yet so far. We went on a fantastic run of eleven wins, but two games have spoilt it for us. Steven Gerrard will never get over that slip against Chelsea now, it will haunt him forever. Everyone will point to us as being bottlers, but I don’t see it like that. I think we’ve been naive in the last two games, from the manager to the players. We didn’t need to beat Chelsea, but we played right into their game plan and gifted them the game. We should have just sat back and let them come out. We didn’t need any urgency at all, but we chased a game we could afford to draw – one which Chelsea had to win. Then we started chasing goals at 3-0 against Palace and our defence went to pieces when their first goal was deflected in. I thought Skrtel and Johnson were awful in particular. Our defence lacks leadership in that combination. Rodgers was very naive in his tactics against Chelsea and then with his substitutions at Palace. Agger should have come on, but he threw on Coutinho and Moses looking for goals – which was pointless given the defecit.

3 – Who would your player of the season be for Liverpool?
A lot of people have been nostalgically calling for Gerrard to get it, but there’s no way he can be considered after the slip. As harsh as that may sound. Suarez has been head and shoulders above him and everyone else in the league. Easily our player of the season. Best striker in Europe right now.

4 – What are your current views on Rodgers?
As I said above, I think he’s on a steep learning curve but is doing bloody well. He was outdone by Mourinho, which was a heck of a reality check for him. He will move on and learn from that though. He really needs to work out how he wants his defence to play, because technically void players like Sakho and Skrtel do not suit a passing style of play. He has us playing brilliantly, but I do worry that we don’t have a plan b or an ability to shut up shop.

5 – Which players do you see being key for both sides?
Suarez, Gerrard and Sturridge for us. For you? Jeez. Nobody stands out. You’ve had a really bad few months, although the Cardiff game will have done you good. I think Krul and Coloccini may be key for you.

6 – What do Liverpool need to do in the summer to ensure they push on next season?
I think we need to sort our defence out and get more experience, leadership and depth in the squad ready for Europe. I would look at Ashley Cole, Cesc Fabregas and Kyriakos Papadopoulos first of all.

7 – What have you made of Newcastle’s season?
You looked like you were getting back on track, but then January came and Cabaye went and you’ve looked woeful since. Pardew’s headbutt was a big downer and turning point also.

8 – Are you disappointed with the last two results? Have they cost you the title?
Gutted. As I said, the lack of common sense and mass naivity really upset me. I could see what could happen, so why couldn’t the players and manager?

9 – Scoreline prediction?
I’d take any sort of win to send the players off with. 1-0 would do.

10 – If your football club was a vegetable, what vegetable would it be?
A salsify.

The thread on their forums can be found here.

The single Liverpool fan is expecting a win, do you see this happening? Have your say in the discussion thread here.

TFI – Player Ratings vs Cardiff City – 03 May

Click here to go to the discussion thread by Cal

To come up with these figures we ask forum members to rate each player’s performance in the concerned game out of 10, which we then average out to get a rating representative of the fans’ views, we also collect a few user comments to summarise how the player did and show a few different viewpoints from the board. The top scoring player is man of the match; the lowest is mug of the match. This time 15 members cast their votes and shared their opinions.

This match saw the losing streak halted at six, Newcastle earn 3 points (with a padded scoreline that didn’t reflect the performance) and Cardiff confirming their relegation, but none of that was the focus of the day as the fans chose to make their voices heard at the last home game of the season via a plethora of banners, booing of Pardew if he dared to leave his seat, a variety of chants, and a couple of walkouts. Since this was a pretty unusual occurance, we also polled our members on their thoughts on the fans’ performance, the average rating being an 8.38, which I guess could also result in a man of the match award for them (otherwise it’s Krul and his 7.30).

Gouffran continued to draw fire for his lacklustre performances, and this time it was enough to earn him mug of the match. The team averaged 5.77, and Pardew got a 2.42, with the main criticism being of him cowardly defending a 1-0 lead at home to the worst side in the lead by going to 6 at the back at times. Continue reading

TFI – Player Ratings vs Arsenal – 28 Apr 14

Click here to go to the discussion thread by Cal

To come up with these figures we ask forum members to rate each player’s performance in the concerned game out of 10, which we then average out to get a rating representative of the fans’ views, we also collect a few user comments to summarise how the player did and show a few different viewpoints from the board. The top scoring player is man of the match; the lowest is mug of the match. This time 12 members cast their votes and shared their opinions.

The record equalling six loss streak was completed in suitably terrible fashion, and accompanied by the crowd noticeably turning against Pardew, with the emergence of banners and songs making the fans’ thoughts more than clear. This team ‘performance’ came within a whisker of breaking the record set at Southampton a few weeks prior, but ultimately the team average 3.77 and Pardew got a 1.64. If it can be called that with a score so low, the man of the match was Krul with a measly 5.54 (5.5 being the baseline for our ratings), and Gosling earning mug of the match with 2.50. Continue reading