Cheick Tioté and Yoan Gouffran deserve to be dropped

Cheick Tiote and Yoan Gouffran in training with Newcastle United

Gouffran – Continues to merit a starting role in Alan Pardew’s recent line-ups

Another trip to the Emirates Stadium and another pitiful performance. As per usual, the trip to Arsenal saw Newcastle United beaten by a three goal margin. This time Olivier Giroud and Santi Cazorla teamed up to tear our defence asunder – the former seemingly finding world-class form against us Magpies to chip in with two top quality goals. Cazorla’s first was a thing of beauty, delicately piercing the top corner from an acute angle, leaving NUFC’s third choice keeper Jak Alnwick stranded, a position in which he remained throughout the remainder of the 90 minutes. It wasn’t the awful defending or the poor goalkeeping on show that really caught my eye when watching the game, rather, the incredibly poor standard of passing on show from a certain Cheick Tioté, and the lack of contribution on display from Alan Pardew’s best friend, Yoan Gouffran.

Pardew’s decision to start Gouffran had most Newcastle fans shaking their head before a ball had been kicked in London. The Frenchman, who arrived on the scene in considerable scoring form this time last season has been transformed into a defensive winger, or a full-back when in his element.

November’s Manager of the Month opted to bench Rémy Cabella in favour of a more conservative approach from the first whistle. Although Papiss Cissé and Ayoze Perez both started, the were both assigned different roles, with Perez also given … Continue Reading …

Jack Colback — Newcastle United’s midfield lynchpin

NUFC's Jack Colback celebrates after the final whistle against Chelsea

Colback – Newcastle United’s most consistent midfielder so far

When Jack Colback completed a free transfer to Newcastle United from bitter rivals Sunderland, few would have imagined that the 24 year-old would become the first name on the teamsheet at St. James’ Park. As many of you will know from reading my articles, Jack Colback is someone I always rated, particularly during his time at Sunderland, in other words, I did fancy him to evolve into a very good midfielder on Tyneside, but perhaps not so soon. [Self praise over!] To say he is our most consistent midfielder so far this season is putting it mildly. He has been nothing short of fantastic, and his performance against Chelsea on Saturday last was one of the finest I’ve seen from a Toon player in the centre of the park in quite some time. Diego Costa, Eden Hazard and Willian all endured a miserable afternoon on Tyneside, thanks to the heroic workrate, tackling precision, and all-round quality passing on display from our #14.

While he may not have the creativity of the departed Yohan Cabaye, Jack does have vision going forward, proven by his delightful ball to Moussa Sissoko which resulted in the winning goal. When he wasn’t shutting down shop in Chelsea’s attacking third, he was busy spraying the ball to the flanks. Papiss Cissé may have stolen the morning headlines, but Colback was just as vital in securing all three points.

While I can claim credit of being one of few NUFC fans that genuinely embraced the signing of Colback from the folk up the road, I have to confess — I didn’t see him … Continue Reading …

Newcastle want Serbian starlet ahead of January window

Aleksandar Mitrovic celebrates scoring for Anderlecht

Mitrovic – Scoring form for Anderlecht has been attracting admirers from across Europe

Newcastle United are ready to strengthen their forward line with the signing of Anderlecht’s Aleksandar Mitrovic for a fee in the region of £10m – according to the Telegraph. Our senior striker, Papiss Cissé, has enjoyed a mixed start to the 2014/15 season, with injuries dominating the headlines. A recurring knee injury has kept the Senegalese international out of action for the past month, and although young Ayoze Perez has been filled the void more than sufficiently, head scout Graham Carr and manager Alan Pardew want another striker in the door as soon as possible. The number one target, according to the aforementioned publication, is Mitrovic, who has been in fine form with Anderlecht since joining last year. However, as with any player NUFC look to sign, there are a number of other top European clubs keeping tabs on the Serbian — hardly surprising considering his goal scoring form in Belgium.

The club failed to strengthen a weakened forward line last summer, with priority target Alexandre Lacazette agreeing to stay put for another season at least, despite a number of bids from Tyneside. As anyone will know, unless they’ve been hiding under a rock the past three months, Lacazette has been blistering form for Lyon, and our chances of … Continue Reading …

What happened to Adam Campbell’s Newcastle career?

Adam Campbell celebrates with Papiss Cissé after scoring a late winner against Fulham

Campbell – Was an encouraging breakthrough in Newcastle United’s underwhelming 2012/13 season

As Newcastle United supporters begrudgingly prepare for the dreaded international break, it gives us all time to look back on what has been a superb return to form. 5 straight victories, including four successive Premier League wins has left Toon fans wondering where it all went right. The majority will heap praise on manager Alan Pardew for turning things around, but when I say majority, I mean the media and onlookers outside of the north-east. Truth is, plenty of Newcastle fans – myself included – would have Pardew replaced in the morning if given the choice, however we are all smart enough to realise that once he retained Mike Ashley’s backing following a dire loss to Stoke City, his sacking just wasn’t going to happen. Anyway, in a season so far that has been filled with local lads giving their all for the Black and White cause, I want to take a look at another Geordie in Adam Campbell, and ask the question – what has happened to this guy?

Before you interject and cite his recent hernia and the fact he has just returned to regular, full-on training – I know, but there is something more to his story than just that injury.

Many will remember Papiss Cissé’s last-gasp winner against Stoke City two seasons ago, a no-nonsense finish to say the least. However, it may well be forgotten that … Continue Reading …