*No Spoilers* – US based William Travis gives us his ‘Newcastle United Avengers’.
As many of you will know, the world recently witnessed the premier of the second Avengers movie, Avengers: Age of Ultron.
(To feature like William, send in your articles for our website to [email protected] – all views those of the author etc etc)
The movie debuted on April 23 over in the UK and, as expected, has been a box office hit. Since the Magpies are in the midst of a horrid stretch, I’ve decided to take a different route and combine my two favorite interests: sports and superheroes.
I’ve always found it interesting to compare players to superheroes based on their skills, personalities, and traits. During such a depressing run of form on the pitch, I thought it might be fun to take a look at some of the features (good and bad) of certain players and try and classify them in terms of heroes, specifically the ones featured in the recent blockbuster.
I thought it might lighten the mood….
For those of you who are lucky enough to not share my nerdy love of superheroes, I’ll try and provide enough detail to at least paint an idea of why the comparison works. Let’s get started.
Avenger: Iron Man
Player Comparison: Ayoze Pérez
Iron Man has to be a shooter right? He also has to have a little flair. And back it all up with confidence. The player who has met this criteria throughout the season is the feisty Pérez, who has won over Newcastle supporters with his tireless efforts to generate offense for a squad that often lacks ambition.
Papiss Cissé may have more goals, but I honestly think the Spanish striker deserves more credit. Iron Man has a variety of gadgets at his disposal, and is often innovative depending on the situation. While Cissé is a poacher, Pérez has a lot of flair and a tendency to make something out of nothing. So for me, Pérez is the ironclad Avenger with all the firepower.
Avenger: The Hulk
Player Comparison: Moussa Sissoko
Does anything else ever think it’s impossible for Sissoko to be as big as he is whilst also being so fast? I do every time I watch him play. This guy is a physical specimen who has it all, and when he is playing well he either blazes past defenders or completely outmuscles them. So naturally, he fits the mould of The Hulk.
When The Hulk is in action, there is no stopping him. He is super strong, quick, and can jump so high it’s as good as flying. But the thing is, The Hulk isn’t present all the time…on those occasions, he takes the form of weak and puny Bruce Banner, a normal human who isn’t physically imposing…at all. Same thing for Sissoko.
The Frenchman is one of the most inconsistent players I’ve ever seen. He was in blazing form during Newcastle’s winning streak and has all but vanished since. It’s a shame, because if both Sissoko and The Hulk could gain control of their abilities and perform consistently, they would be in a class of their own. Unfortunately, they aren’t there yet. One thing is clear: Newcastle needs a lot more of The Hulk and a lot less of Bruce Banner.
Avenger: Captain America
Player Comparison: Jack Colback
This one is obvious for me. Captain America is a human with perfect physical abilities; this makes him a superhero, but he can’t fly or anything. Other than his trusty shield, Cap is a little outclassed when compared to the other Avengers.
However, this doesn’t prevent him from being the team’s leader and frequently proving to be the reason that the Avengers win the day. Captain America is just a good guy that garners a lot of respect. On the pitch, this translates to Jack Colback. The local lad doesn’t do anything spectacular but is the most consistent player in the team. He is a tidy central midfielder who is usually in the right place; he does the little things right and leaves it all on the pitch. A future Newcastle captain in my eyes, Colback is the most admirable player Newcastle have right now.
Player Comparison: Daryl Janmaat
Janmaat has been a consistent player throughout the season. He has often been overshadowed by other players and the team’s awful performance, which brings me to the Hawkeye comparison. For just being a human, Hawkeye is pretty deadly. Due to the rest of the Avengers, his performances (with a bow and arrow, mind you) are often under the radar. But it’s clear how much the team values him.
Janmaat has been a crucial part when the Magpies have performed well, and has been one of the better players when the team has struggled. He has a little flair as well, which is definitely a trait that Hawkeye shares. Also, Janmaat and Hawkeye are both soldiers; they do what they’re asked to do without asking questions. Janmaat played centre-back when the team needed him…and he was actually pretty good at it.
Player Comparison: Siem de Jong
This one is a bit of a stretch, as it’s based on a player who has experienced an endless cycle of injury problems since putting on a Newcastle jersey. But even with limited action this season, I think de Jong is the only player who could be Thor. And that’s a good thing, because Thor is awesome.
Thor is pretty much the Avenger without flaw; he possesses superhuman strength, can fly with his hammer, and can even summon lightning and use it as a weapon. Thor is the most well rounded and consistent Avenger, and I think de Jong has the ability to be that guy for the Magpies. In limited action, he has looked good. He has good size, quality vision and positioning, and can put the ball in the net. So let’s hope I’m right about de Jong, because we could use a Thor flying around scoring goals next year.
These next few are minor comparisons, just for fun…
Avenger: The Vision
Player Comparison: Rémy Cabella
Big stretch here, mainly basing it on Cabella’s potential. I won’t spoil anything from the film, but The Vision really has an important role when he shows up in Ultron. And he’s really powerful.
The Vision is an android who is powered by the soul gem (one of the infinity stones), and can do it all. He can fly, fight well, and can shoot a laser beam out of his forehead. Cabella can’t do any of that, but he has shown brief, and I mean BRIEF, flashes of brilliance. If he reaches his potential, Cabella could develop into a threat that could really change Newcastle’s fortune.
Future Avenger? Spider-Man
Player Comparison: Rolando Aarons
Couldn’t resist. Aarons is set for a return soon, and boy do we need him. He was electrifying earlier this season, showing speed and great agility, allowing him to blaze past defenders. And Spider-man, who swings from buildings with his web, is as agile as they come. Spidey doesn’t win with pure strength, but with quickness and precision. Neither of these guys are big, but they still perform. So can Spider-man come save the Avengers sometime down the road? Likewise, can Aarons arrive and save Newcastle…sometime over the next few weeks?
Any superhero Newcastle players you’d like to add?