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 …

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 …

Sammy Ameobi beginning to take his chance on Tyneside

Sammy Ameobi scores Newcastle's equaliser against Spurs at White Hart Lane

Ameobi – Rifled home an absolute beauty 7 seconds into the second half at White Hart Lane

When Newcastle United scampered down the tunnel after a ridiculously poor first half showing against Tottenham Hotspur, Toon fans began to ask the question – what kind of gameplan did NUFC really bring to White Hart Lane? Whatever the idea of the first 45 minutes happened to be, it was nothing short of appalling. We didn’t create a chance, and the majority of the players didn’t look bothered about representing the shirt they were wearing. The second half however, was brilliant. As many of you will know, I – alongside thousands of other Newcastle fans – find it quite difficult to get excited about the Toon these days, but the second half was refreshing to the say the least. We looked a proper Premier League team. The players worked tirelessly, and actually went at the Spurs defence for the kill, a tie which was eventually settled by the highly-talented Ayoze Perez on his first league start.

The arrival of Sammy Ameobi and Rémy Cabella changed the game. They both added a dynamic to our forward line that didn’t exist in the first half. Just 7 seconds into the second period, Jack Colback pulled off the pass of the season so far from inside his own half to set up Ameobi for NUFC’s equaliser.

The lanky winger took it in his strike before sending a bullet past Hugo Lloris into the bottom corner – a fantastic finish, and a response that had Spurs reeling from the … Continue Reading …

Cheick Tioté wants out as Pardew limps on

Cheick Tioté celebrates by sprinting to the substitutes bench

Tioté – Even he has begun to point the finger at the extremely poor manager in charge of Newcastle United

When Peter Crouch easily rose above captain Fabricio Coloccini to nod home what turned out to be Stoke City’s winner, it was all too familiar for Newcastle United fans. There wasn’t despair, no head in hands, no tears. A sense of acceptance swept through a wet Brittania Stadium. Then, as per the last few games, chants and banners dominated the TV screens as the majority of Newcastle supporters voiced their anger, and demands to the away dugout. The message was clear, Alan Pardew is finished, his relationship with the real fans of this club, irreparable. Lining out in their third kit, the eleven Toon players on the pitch tried desperately to garner an equaliser. Our right-back, Daryl Janmaat coming closest with a fierce effort from outside the area. Our forward line was blunt, a certain chemistry nowhere to be seen. Rémy Cabella tried to show his creativity by running around Stoke players, but alas, nothing gave. At half-time, in typical Pardew style, he didn’t go offensive, merely replaced an anonymous cog in the Toon forward line, bringing on an unfit Papiss Cissé for an underwhelming Emmanuel Rivière.

The men in Navy and Green battled on, desperately seeking to restore parity. It was the energetic, and clearly passionate local lad, Jack Colback that summed up the night in Stoke with a rasping left-footed strike from four yards out. It smashed against the … Continue Reading …