I can see why people like Ayoze Perez.

He comes across as a canny lad and does have a certain level of skill.

One of the players to possibly/probably benefit from Mike Ashley refusing to properly back Rafa Benitez this summer in the transfer market, Ayoze Perez has found himself starting all five Premier League games so far this season.

Yesterday (see below) I had an article on The Mag talking about Joselu, my conclusion being after looking at his stats, that we needed to see more than he had previously shown in a top division. The 27 year old Spanish striker never having previously scored double figures in a league season.

That wasn’t to say he was no use, more that he would have a part to play but needed to stick away chances like the three he failed with against Stoke if Joselu was to prove good enough to be first choice.

I now find myself thinking/writing the same about his countryman. Ayoze Perez has some silky skills but what extra information do the stats show:

2014/15 – 36 Premier League appearances (25 starts 11 as a sub) and 7 goals and 0 assists

2015/16 – 34 Premier League appearances (22 starts 12 as a sub) and 6 goals and 2 assists

2016/17 – 36 Championship appearances (25 starts 11 as a sub) and 9 goals and 6 assists

2017/18 – 5 Premier League appearances (5 starts 0 as a sub) and 0 goals and 1 assist

As a striker/number 10, I look at 3 assists in 75 Premier League appearances (52 starts) and have to think this is nowhere near enough.

Same with goalscoring, 13 goals in those 75 PL games.

I look at the Ayoze Perez stats in the Championship and in 36 appearances (25 starts) he got 9 goals and 6 assists, those are the kind of figures he needs to reproduce this season in the Premier League to deserve his place.

I hope he can do it but one massive obstacle stands in his way.

Ayoze Perez often reminds me of the proverbial fat kid who has the skill to outwit an opponent but after outskilling the other player, doesn’t then have the pace to take advantage of that and turn it into a goal for himself or a chance for another.

If this season ends up with a centre-forward not scoring 15+ for Newcastle, then we desperately need the supporting cast to be scoring plenty of goals.

Goals so far from Lascelles (2) and Clark have been a massive bonus but we can’t count on those, we need the midfield/wingers – including Ayoze Perez, to be making and scoring goals.

John Martin writing on The Mag – 20 September 2017:

Well, at the age of 27 Joselu isn’t a kid and this is his sixth season of playing in the top division of a major league (Spain, Germany, England).

2012/13 – 25 league appearances (17 starts 8 as a sub) and 5 goals and 2 assists for Hoffenheim

2013/14 – 24 league appearances (18 starts 6 as a sub) and 9 goals and 2 assists for Eintracht Frankfurt

2014/15 – 30 league appearances (28 starts 2 as a sub) and 8 goals and 3 assists for Hannover

2015/16 – 22 league appearances (10 starts 12 as a sub) and 4 goals and 1 assist for Stoke

2016/17 – 20 league appearances (9 starts 11 as a sub) and 5 goals and 1 assist for Deportivo

2017/18 –  4 league appearances (3 starts 1 as a sub) and 1 goal and 0 assists for Newcastle United

So overall in these past six seasons of top flight football, Joselu has scored 32 league goals in 125 appearances (85 starts, 40 off the bench) and got 9 assists.

A few things strike you, the main negative being that the Spanish striker has never scored double figures in any league season (Spanish Shola..?).

In mitigation though, he has rarely been given the chance at any club to be an automatic first choice, apart from maybe at Hannover.

The other stand out thing is that this season is his sixth season in a row at a different club – six clubs in six years is hardly a recipe for success and building a rapport/relationship with teammates.

It isn’t a case of writing Joselu off but you have to think it is going to take a major improvement in front of goal, if the Spaniard is going to be a 15 goals a season forward for Newcastle.

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  • Mayor Vaughn

    They’ll be fine

    • TheNutJob

      no they won`t

  • TheNutJob

    make or break season for Perez, either he ups his game or sell him. as for Joselu he`ll never be good enough to lead the line at this level no matter who manages the team

    • Paul Busby

      Last season was make or break. This season is his budget bonus round.

  • Paul Patterson

    We’re winning games, so yes he’s doing enough.

    • glassjawsh-got-banned

      Bernie Madoff made a bunch of money for a lot of people, so what he did to get there was ok? The end doesn’t always justify the means.

      • Paul Patterson

        Perez harries the opposition back line and puts pressure on them. He doesn’t score many goals but the original question was, is he doing enough?
        Until Rafa changes his job remit, the answer will always be ‘yes’.

        • glassjawsh-got-banned

          You made it out to be like if the side are winning it doesn’t matter if individual players aren’t good enough. That’s simply not true.

          • Paul Patterson

            Yeah, but he hasn’t done anything WRONG. He’s not there to score goals as his main job AND were winning.

          • Toonrobbybobson

            You don’t know the job Rafa asked him to do.

      • Mal

        Your putting this forward as some sort of valid comparison with PP’s comment?

  • Wor Lass

    He definitely needs to give us more going forward but he`s doing a terriffic job as the first line of defence. I think he`s improved in the PL. OK, he doesn`t have great pace but he has got quick speed of thought and can react well in the box. I reckon he`ll do well for us this season but I do agree he`s lucky that Rafa wasn`t backed fully during the window.

  • Soldier

    he`s not a number 10, in fact i wouldn`t know where to play him as i think he isn`t good enough, if Rafa buys an other midfield player in January neither Perez or Diame will be a first choice starter

  • Steve Pearce

    If only he was six feet tall and twice the weight!

    He shows commitment and desire but at about 7 stone soaking wet he is always bullied off the ball. Maybe some gym work and some boxing lessons could toughen him up and turn him into the player he always should have been.

  • glassjawsh-got-banned

    Ayoze is exceptional in every aspect that doesn’t involve skills for the sport with which he’s paid to play. Great person, great attitude, great work rate, great head for the game, great ambassador for the team and the city… I’m glad he wears a Newcastle shirt, but he’s not a great footballer.

    • gallowgate26

      No…He’s not a great athlete, surely you can’t say he’s not a great footballer! He would embarrass you and me in a game of five-a-side!

  • NUFCDan

    He’s a decent enough number 10 for the level were at currently. His work rate is exceptional. I’m guessing eventually he might be dropped in favour of Shelvey playing a more advanced role if Merinos form continues.

  • Stevie

    Fans (or maybe just this site) seem to have a downer on Ayoze but clearly Rafa likes him as he’s pretty much first choice in the position in which he plays. I guess he knows a bit more than us. He’s not a ‘lead the line’ player or a target man but he’s got great ball control. Sure if Rafa had £100m to spend then he’d get someone better but that’s probably true of most of the team…

    • Carlo Ancelotti

      he has only 2 options Perez or Diame & neither are good enough, i think Rafa`s 1st buy in January will be a number 10 quickly followed by a striker

      • Danimal

        You betting we’ll buy anyone in January? If we do, it means we’re in the bottom three.

      • ToonNL

        I don..t remember the last transfer window where we didn’t need a dedicated CAM

      • Toonrobbybobson

        Not good enough where we’ve taken 9 points from 3 wins?

  • Mxpx

    Not for me Clive

  • steve

    He’s been more effective in the last couple of games playing beside someone with a bit of presence but played alongside Gayle it’s like being a man down.

  • Mal

    John, you do love to criticise. Definitely a (less than) glass half full person.

  • East Durham Mag

    He seems more suited to the Premiership than the rigours of the Championship. Perhaps it would be better to get behind the players now rather than giving them stick.

  • Oooh bobbi fleckman

    Perez is a good player but one that needs strength around him to protect him a little. Some of his passing is Beardsleyesque. Noticeably Joselu is strong without getting into Mitro style fights and seems to allow Perezx more space, Merino certainly seems on his [Perez’] wavelength. There could be something about playing at a high tempo that allows Perez to look good.

    • MichaelMaximusMoose

      How many goals have they scored between them ?

  • ghostrider

    The stark truth is, he’s too lightweight.
    Some games actually suit him but many don’t.
    The issue is, the many are too many and we cannot afford to be carrying passengers in this league for too many games at a time.

    Now, having said that, it almost appears like I’m sounding his death knell as a Newcastle United footballer.
    The reality is, I think he has a lot more in his tank and it needs to be beaten out of him, sort of. Not literally.

    We all can’t be wrong when we see major issues with him.
    Those issues can be worked on to get 30% extra of all the things Ayoze is capable of, skill wise and intelligence wise, in terms of knowing when to release a ball into the danger area instead of trying to walk it through.
    Plus another 40% in physical strength building.

    If he can be coaxed into getting close to any of those, which I genuinely think he’s capable of, then he could be an amazing player for us on a regular basis, instead of just a dip into a luckybag of games.

    • Paul Patterson

      Sadly the only other option is Diame and I’d rather play a brick . .

      • ghostrider

        Well, to be honest, Ayoze hasn’t been playing too bad of late but the issue is, when does he revert back to his missing persons list.

        • Paul Patterson

          Hopefully he won’t, but I take your point about him needing to bulk out at bit . .

  • Steve Smith

    He’s playing well at the moment but needs to gain some timber.

  • MichaelMaximusMoose

    good technical ability, runs around a lot, falls over a lot, doesn`t get enough shots on target & along with Joselu just isn`t up to the standard required in the Prem,
    I`d drop Joselu for Gayle & stick with Perez for the moment as putting SloMo in doesn`t bear thinking about

  • gallowgate26

    Stats don’t win games, teams do. To be honest I didn’t rate Perez in the championship but he’s been a mainstay in the PL under multiple managers, so they must see something in him!

  • Martin

    You don’t get a 15 goal a season striker for £5 million quid. If Joselu continues to play as he is and gets say another 8 goals he will have done well. We will just have to hope others weigh in.

    As for Perez I like him and he is better than Diame so what is the point of criticising him? He has plenty improvement in him as well.

  • ToonNL

    I would like to see him improve some parts of his game but with the lively wingers we have right now he can play a role with hard work in favor of creative responsibility

  • Danimal

    Good player. Good attitude. Scored a very tidy winner at Brighton a few months ago. Just to pour petrol into the fire, I also don’t understand the slating Diame got last season, as a key member of our promoted team. Or Dummett for that matter. I wanted us to sign better players this summer but we haven’t (due to Clarko/Bobbi/Monkseaton’s hero deciding we should know our place as dirty northern scrubbers). We have what we have. This will confuse the aforementioned Ashley brown-nosing trio but…let’s support the players we have.

    • Paul Patterson

      I find Diame’s general play very poor, but we won often with him in the side. I take your point on Dummett, he seems to be too often the whipping boy for some reason . .

      • Danimal

        Maybe this is where the”deluded” thing comes from. As an exile, I saw all those three making a valuable contribution to our promotion. And I bet many of our rivals such as Reading, Sheff Wed and Huddersfield would have been glad of them.

        • Toonrobbybobson

          Completely agree. You can’t have world beaters in every spot. It needs to be a mix of talent, desire, application, skill, attitude, communication, pace, how injury prone, consistency, being able to listen, team play, desire, improvement, TRUST etc etc. Rafa picks many on trust of doing what he asks. If you don’t you’re out. There is clearly a few he can’t trust.

          Dummett, Diame and Perez all did jobs for us. Let’s face it here…. Diame did more for us on the pitch than Sissoko did!

    • MadMag83

      I didn’t understand the stick that Dummett and Diame got last season either. Granted neither will ever be world beaters but for the Championship they were good enough, (clearly as we got promoted). Hopefully the likes of Perez will develop under Rafa, and Diame could be useful this season as a squad player whilst we wait for an upgrade. Dummett I’m not sure if Rafa will have him as he preferred choice at left back or whether he’ll be looking to upgrade and use Dummett as back up.

      The most important thing this team has at its disposal right now is Rafa’s expertise, alongside the togetherness of the players.

  • Mal

    ‘let’s support the players we have.’

    An interesting proposition but one that’s unlikely to catch on even though this is supposedly a supporters website.

  • Toonrobbybobson

    He’s what we have support him. You know… like supporters do. Clue in the name.

    I’m not his biggest fan but his work rate this season has massively gone up. If he can marry that with his stars last season which should in theory come that’ll do nicely. He’s still very young. But he’s impressed with his attitude this season. Rafa will continue to knock the rough edges off.

    • ghostrider

      I don’t think it’s about anyone not supporting him.
      It’s merely a bit of critique.
      It’s more akin to arguing whether Ayoze is worth 5 million or 20 million.
      Some will say 5 million but some will say ‘ if he ups his game he could be worth over 20 million.’

      That sort of thing.
      It’s not like most fans are thinking he’s garbage and get rid.

  • Philippines

    I like the play of Perez and I, like Rafa, would keep him in the side. Unfortunately criticism of some players seems to become ‘fashionable’.

  • txbnet

    Can I point out a positive. Perez runs the whole game across the opposition’s back four making it almost impossible for them to play an easy pass. He closes them down and they have to go long, giving our midfielders and defenders a chance to pick off the mis hit pass. Mitro will never work as hard which is why Perez is in the team ahead of him.

    Perez often gains possession for the Toon for instance watch him winning the ball v Stoke to set up the play for Atsu’s first.

    He is in the team on merit in my view as Raga likes work rate.