Player By Player – Did Newcastle Show They Were Better Than League Two?
Watching the match last night I was just grateful that we were at least in the League Cup for another round and if we beat Leeds then…
When I’d calmed down afterwards, I then heard Alan Pardew’s comments about ‘A Great Performance’ and I had that awful pain in the gut, a bit like after a dodgy burger at the match, I knew it was wrong but I didn’t know how to cure it.
As a bit of therapy I went through all 14 players who played last night to analyse what exactly they showed us, taking away the comfort blanket of the fact that the scoreline was a very flattering 2-0.
So, Are You Better Than League Two?
Rob Elliot – He did ok and made a few decent saves but as at the end of last season he is hesitant on crosses and spilled one easy shot, better than League 2 but not convincing.
Debuchy – I thought he did ok but he is now handicapped a bit by being the prime scapegoat. Took physical punishment well and kept on getting up and down the pitch, not brilliant but ok.
Mapou – Had a poor night and his hesitancy almost cost Newcastle, hopefully this type of opposition will accelerate his learning curve.
Good – Looked very good on his debut and showed a cool head, maybe has a chance.
Dummett – Similar to Good, he appears to have a football brain and possibly has a roll of the dice of making it.
Marveaux – Newcastle’s worst player last night by a mile, clearly didn’t want to be there and downed tools early on. We know he has ability but disgraceful on this occasion, as he has done at times before.
Gosling – Can only think that positive comments about him were due to a couple of decent clearances off the line. As the attacking midfielder/playmaker he was a key reason why Morecambe bossed the middle of the pitch, not good enough.
Bigirimana – Gosling’s partner in the centre and while not quite as bad as the ex-Everton man, Bigi has clearly gone backwards from the form he showed last season. Still has time but needs to refocus and kick on again.
Sammy Ameobi – Clearly better than League Two level but how much better? In terms of natural talent he has every chance but needs to add end product and discipline to make it big time – the jury is still out.
Vuckic – Dragged off at half-time and when a striker can’t impress against this lot…afraid I can’t see what others see in him. Will make a living but not in Premier League.
Gouffran – Is increasingly looking what he is; a grafter who will work hard but is short of quality. Did nothing last night to show he is worth a first team place, Newcastle desperately need to get to a position where they aren’t relying on him as a first team regular and instead use him as a versatile sub.
Shola – This is his bread and butter; lower league teams or weak European opposition. Could have probably been a decent goalscorer at a lower level but the impact he makes in these type of matches is a different story to what happens in the Premier League most times he appears.
Ben Arfa – Clearly the best player on the pitch by a ‘tatie field’ (as my mam used to say), at less than half pace he strolled through his late appearance and effortlessly picked out key passes for both goals. Doubt very much if Newcastle would have won in normal time without him.
Sissoko – Only on for a handful of minutes but always shows the commitment and energy we desperately need this season.
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