Worst Five Team Performances of 13/14

Click here to go to the discussion thread by Cal

Perhaps the most depressing of these top/worst five articles to write so far; let’s ruin any sense of excitement our summer signings have instilled in us by looking at our worst team performances of 13/14, which all take place in 2014.

4.43 – West Brom (a) – 01 Jan 14

The start of 2014 brought with it the beginning of the downfall (I don’t count the previous loss to Arsenal since we actually played well) thanks to a 1-0 loss to West Brom, who had been without a win in two months, and a lifeless display that would set the tone for the second half of the season.

The match opened with a boring, soggy first half with occasional flashes of danger coming from the more talented Amalfitano brother, while at the other end the fan favourite Williamson set-piece routine would result in our best chance of the match. Ben Arfa replaced Gouffran at half-time, but he may as well have stayed on the bench such was his performance, and around the hour mark things got worse; Debuchy was sent off for a reckless two footed lunge, then Coloccini suffered the injury that would rule him out for two months. From here West Brom pushed their advantage until 3 minutes from time when a through ball to Vydra carved open the Newcastle defence and Krul brought the attacker down. Berahino scored the penalty.

Despite Debuchy’s sending off and 2.93 rating, that wasn’t enough to win the mug of the match award, which instead went to Shola Ameobi for one of our worst five player performances of the season, as his inability to do anything of use leading the line resulted in a 2.28 rating and four fouls against him. Only Coloccini managed to break the 5.50 threshold, his 5.53 rating making him our man of the match.

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Top Five Team Performances of 13/14

Click here to go to the discussion thread by Cal

Continuing on the top/worst five theme, we’ll now be looking at our five highest rated team performances of the season, based on the average rating given to the players involved in each match. As is no surprise in what was very much a season of two halves, the majority of these games occurred in the good half of the season. The links to the corresponding match reports will be in the title of each section.

6.94 – Tottenham (a) – 10 Nov 13

Our first entry in this top five is a hard-fought 1-0 win at White Hart Lane in what was, at the time, our lucky yellow strip. We had the better of the first half as we defended and pressed well, while threatening several times at the other end, including one chance in particular where a clever through ball from Cabaye took almost the entire Spurs side out of the game and set Rémy free.

The only goal of the game came after an action packed 13 minutes, our constant pressure high up the field allowing Gouffran to pounce on a poor pass in the centre circle and immediately thread the ball to Rémy, who rounded Friedel and slotted home.

The second half was a very different affair as Tottenham opted to go all out and bombard the Newcastle net for 45 minutes. If it was not for our man of the match putting in our highest rated performance of the season (Tim Krul, 9.87) it likely would have been a heavy defeat, despite the best efforts of the centre-back pairing in front of him, that being Yanga-Mbiwa (7.57) and Williamson (7.47). Gouffran (7.90) and Rémy (7.52) also put in highly rated performances, while mug of the match Shola (5.00) and Santon (5.28) proved to be the weak links.

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Worst Five Player Performances of 13/14

Click here to go to the discussion thread by Cal

Following on from our top five player performances, where else to go but the worst? Hopefully this coming season we won’t quite hit the same depths of depravity, especially considering that we’ve got rid of some of the culprits and recently gone on quite the shopping spree.

2.35 – Shola Ameobi vs Sunderland (01 Feb 14)

What better match to start off a list of poor performances than a heavy loss to our local rivals? Standing-in for the suspended Rémy, Shola was at the opposite end of the scale to his brother, who earned the illustrious ToonForum man of the match, as the elder put in an utterly listless performance in which he failed to live up to his Mackem slayer moniker, consistently giving away the ball and taking poor shots. I’ll leave the rest of this to the user comments from our match report.

“He brings nothing to the sport. His heading ability is terrible, he is slow, he is lazy, his shooting is terrible. I genuinely can’t find a single positive. If you removed his season in the championship when he scored a few his strike rate would be nigh on 1 in 7/8. Incredible to think he might get a testimonial. Should have been shipped out years ago.”

“Laughably bad. Literally not a striker, not a footballer. I love the guy’s personality and his loyalty but maybe we should consider whether that is because NO OTHER CLUB WOULD GIVE HIM A LOOK IN.”

“I’m probably biased, but he did what he could. Formation and tactics were horrendous. If you play Shola you play him in a standard 4-4-2 with the other striker close to him. Yet we played most of the game as a 4-2-3-1 with the expectation of him being mobile. He isn’t, tailor your tactics accordingly to him playing or don’t play him Pardew you idiotic w***stain. It ain’t rocket science.”

“What is even the point in this man? If you start with him you’re as good as down to 10 men for the full game. Pardew’s undying love for him is what’s making me go off him more than anything else. He can’t run, he can’t finish, he doesn’t even seem to have the strength he had. In other words, a total disgrace that sums up the administration’s lack of ambition perfectly.”

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Top Five Player Performances of 13/14

Click here to go to the discussion thread by Beatski

After a spree of signings, anticipation for the new season is the highest it has been for a few years on Tyneside. Some have even taken to adopting the ways of optimism. So what better time to start having a look back at the season that was as we prepare to start the new campaign?

In case you are unaware or missed our posts last season, we’ve been cataloguing the fans’ player ratings and reactions after each match and collating them into the ToonForumIndex (TFI), which it turns out is pretty handy when you want to look back.

There are few moments we can look back on fondly in what was a mostly dross season, but here at the TFI we have scraped together some of the few highlights into a handy top five, so prepare to get deluded as we feast upon some of the top individual performances of the 2013/2014 season, thinking about what could be if we had played to players’ strengths, if we could get everyone firing on all cylinders at once, instead of for some reason regressing…

There may be more to come soon (there’s a bunch of less enjoyable fives to go through too); depending on how many we can get written before the season gets started and while also working to improve how the TFI works for next season. We may also possibly make the database available to anyone who is interested in writing something.

8.66 – Vurnon Anita vs Hull City (01 Mar 14)

Propping up the top five is Anita with his first league goal for the club, putting in a creative master class in midfield, despite being outnumbered and not Cabaye. It’s a shame for him that it is a match which will unfortunately be remembered for managerial idiocy rather than a rare good win in 2014 for us, oddly fitting for a player whose playing style and role tends to see him go under the radar, both with the fans and the man who stole the spotlight with his antics.

“I’m not always as enthusiastic about him as others, but epic today.”

“Didn’t put a foot wrong, best he’s ever played in a two man central midfield. Delighted that he got a goal.”

“Great performance. Actually had an impact on the game (which is normally my criticism of him) and was glad to see him get a goal as he seems like a decent guy.”

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