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Opinion

The Top 10 Newcastle United Strikers

2 weeks ago
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Who are the greatest ever(***) Newcastle United Strikers?

In a new feature on The Mag, we are featuring a different NUFC Top 10 each day. A bit of nostalgia, stimulate a bit of debate / argument.

Writer Andrew Coates has put together his best ever Top 10 Newcastle United Strikers, during his era(***) of watching the black and whites play.

For this series, I was given the choice of picking a top ten NUFC players of a certain position and here’s where it gets tricky, from my own specific fan timeline. For me, that limits it to be from around 2000, and even then, some of those memories are a bit fizzy (being a kid at the time.)

Just to make it even more difficult for myself, I decided to go with Newcastle United Strikers, which has been a bit of a problem position for us in recent times.

So here are my Top 10 Newcastle United Strikers since the 99/00 season and a little reasoning on why I made those choices. I’m sure everyone has very different opinions, so feel free to tell me how wrong I am in the comments section below.

10. Loic Remy (13/14 season)

The fact that Remy squeaks in at 10 shows what I have to work with here. A loan signing from QPR, it can’t be denied that Remy had an immediate impact for the club, scoring five goals in his first three games, and three goals in three consecutive wins (against Chelsea, Spurs and Norwich.)

A last minute winner against Aston Villa in the second half of the season and further goals (a total of 14 in 26 appearances) gained him the NUFC Supporters Trust Player of the Year, so I think his appearance here is justified over some others who just missed out.

ayoze perez9. Ayoze Perez (14/15 season- 18/19 season)

Ever a source of frustration, when we signed Perez over (reported) Real Madrid and Barcelona interest, you would have been forgiven for thinking we had on our hands a future wonderkid.

Even though he never really lived up to the hype, it can’t be denied he did score some important and some very good goals in his five seasons. I can still remember his deft backheel goal against West Brom (you know the one).

In the Championship, he scored some key goals to ensure we won the title, and continued with only scoring sporadically in the top flight, scoring consecutive goals and making consecutive assists at the end of the 17/18 season. Finally, he became the first NUFC player to score a hat trick after being promoted back to the Premier League, against Southampton in April 2019.

8. Callum Wilson (20/21- present)

Give him a few more seasons and he might well climb higher in this list. His first season may well have been interrupted by injuries but he’s shown how important he is for the club.

Vital braces against Everton (home and away) and Leicester, and finishing the club’s top scorer (12 PL goals) despite missing a large chunk of the season shows his quality and finishing ability. I firmly believe that without Wilson, we would have been relegated- so just for that, he gets in this list. Hopefully same again (or better!) next season.

7. Andy Carroll (08/09 season- 10/11 season and 19/20 season – 20/21 season)

This one gave me a lot of headaches.

Carroll really came into his own in the Championship, finishing our top scorer with 19 goals in all competitions, and really helped propel us out of the second tier at first time of asking. He proved he wasn’t a championship striker upon promotion, with a hat trick against Villa and a 25 yard winner against Liverpool in the first half of the 10/11 season. Obviously we all know the transfer saga that followed.

After some less than stellar Liverpool seasons and an up and down time at West Ham, he came back for a couple of seasons, and in fairness, did ok in his first, contributing a few assists and acted as a focal point for the team, but never came near his performances in his first spell. I’m sure he’ll have a spot in the hearts of many fans as a local boy done good but his second spell may well have soured some opinions.

6. Obafemi Martins (06/07 season- 08/09 season)

Martins had a huge weight on his shoulders from the get go, being the first player to wear the no.9 shirt following Alan Shearer’s retirement. After an injury hit start, he steadily improved and scored some great goals, including an absolute rocket against Spurs that was recorded in the top 10 of hardest hit shots in EPL history. Finishing his first season with 17 goals in 46 games.

In my opinion, Allardyce wasted a potential star striker, using him as an impact sub, with Martins never getting any reliable game time until Keegan came back, where he then played in a front three, and never regained his focal point status. What might have been, we’ll never know.

The Mag Issue 269 2 June 2012

Issue 269 – 2 June 2012

5. Papiss Cisse (11/12 season- 15/16 season)

I think Cisse would have gone down as a cult hero if he hadn’t stayed at the club quite so long. The very definition of electric starts, he started with nine goals in eight games, making him NUFC’s most prolific per games scorer at the time. His first half season goal tally was amazing and there were some truly spectacular strikes in the mix there, with his goal of the season winning 30 yard curled strike against Chelsea another goal etched into my brain.

His prolific goalscoring propelled us to a 5th place finish and in the following season, into the quarter finals of the Europa League. Following his first season and a half, he remained a good striker, if less consistent, but never really caught the eye as much as in his first blinding 18 months.

4. Salomon Rondon (18/19 season)

In my humble opinion, Rondon was the perfect striker for the situation we were in during the 18/19 season. Hard working, strong on the ball and tireless in his role as the hold up man, and developing a brilliant understanding with fellow forward Ayoze Perez.

Under Rafa we were an unapologetically defensive team (something I feel we were unfairly torn apart by pundits and commentators for, but that’s for another article) but Rodon was nevertheless a consistent offensive threat, ending his sole season with 11 PL goals and 7 assists.

He made an unfancied team better, improved all the players around him, and if Rafa had been allowed to sign him permanently rather than wasting most likely quadruple the money on Joelinton, he may well have stayed. Would he have been just as effective in another season? Who knows? He did only have that one season though and so no opportunity for his reputation to be lessened, as it has for the likes of Carroll and Cisse.

3. Shola Ameobi (00/01 season- 13/14 season)

Never really a prolific scorer or consistent performer (mainly due to injuries,) I still think Shola has somewhat of a cult hero status at St. James Park.

Some amazing performances in the 02/03 Champions League – scoring against the likes of Barcelona and Bayer Leverkusen – further endeared him to fans and cemented his cult hero status.

Only three appearances short of 400 club appearances for NUFC, along with a tally of seven goals in 12 Tyne-Wear derbies is nothing to be sniffed at either.

The 79 goals total may not stand out, given the number of appearances he had, but the importance of so many of them – whether in Europe or in derbies – elevates him into the top three for me.

2. Demba Ba (11/12 season- 12/13 season)

Another striker who could have done so much more for the club if we’d had the sense to hold onto him, Ba was another who hit the ground running at St James Park with eight goals in his first 11 games, including hat tricks against Blackburn and Stoke, he helped us go unbeaten for those 11 games and take us to 3rd in the league.

He also scored against Man United in our first victory against them in over a decade. Ironically, the blinding form of new signing Papiss Cisse curtailed his own form and he was moved to the left of a front three to accommodate his Senegalese compatriot. Following another strong start to the 12/13 season, his criminally low release clause was taken advantage of by Chelsea in the winter transfer window, and that was that. Another what could have been story…

The Mag Issue 182 10 June 2004

Issue 182 – 10 June 2004

1. Alan Shearer (96/97 season- 05/06 season)

Who else was it going to be?

With 148 goals in 303 Premier League games for Newcastle. Check.

Still top EPL goal scorer even after retiring in 2006? Check.

Local lad who turned down the likes of Man United and Real Madrid to sign with his hometown club he’d been a lifelong supporter of? Check.

Stuck with the club through the good, the bad and the ugly? Check.

Holder of many records for NUFC goal scoring and still a club icon? Check.

I think trying to explain my own reasonings for Shearer being top is both a waste of time and preaching to the converted.

I know it, you know it, we all know it, he’ll always be the best striker we’ve had, and ever will have.

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