We’ve been asked many times to give rating on players for the Newcastle games, those that we have watched, and here’s our first shot at that. We are trying to work out how we can allow readers to vote on the performance of individual players, and that’s in addition to our Man of the Match poll.
Ben Arfa – star man for Newcastle on Saturday
Tim Krul 7
Tim had a solid game again, and was unlucky with the goal and hardly expected Davide Santon to head the ball back to him. Made some decent saves and was safe again, and the Dutchman made some good stops in those last 20 minutes when the game was on the line. A top goalkeeper who will get even better.
Danny Simpson 6
Danny did well up against the impressive Gareth Bale, especially after he got an early yellow card. He’s not world class but Simpson is probably under-rated at Newcastle – we hope he signs his new deal and stays on Tyneside, even if Debuchy arrives before September – did well enough in the game to contain Gareth Bale.
Steven Taylor 8
Took control at the back and somebody needed to, with Coloccini missing, and Steven seemed to get better as the game went on. A good first competitive game back for the local lad after his horrendous Achilles injury, and he will be an important player for Newcastle this season – a very important player which is why we need to keep him fit.
Perchino (James Perch) 7
An unsung hero at Newcastle, and he once again cam into the side, preferred to Mike Williamson for the first time, because of his mobility, and he got the job done for Newcastle. James has shown he can play very well at center-back alongside one of the Newcastle’s established center-backs. A very important squad player on Tyneside who could improve further this season. Rumors that Brazilian selectors were watching his performance on Saturday. 😀
Davide Santon 7
Good going forward again, but was beaten twice far too easily by Aaron Lennon, and Davide has to improve his defensive qualities. He’s an excellent technical player and made some good runs down the left wing, but was at fault for the goal. The cross had beaten Defoe and would have gone for a goal kick, but it seemed he couldn’t help but head it – straight at Tim Krul, we assume he was trying to put it out for a goal kick. Improved performance from what we saw from the Italian in pre-season.
Ben Arfa 9
Again the star man for Newcastle and when the Frenchman is in this kind of form anything is possible. Made some good runs in the first half and was the match winner in the second half. He is an absolute darling of the Newcastle crowd and he deserves it – a super display by Ben Arfa which will help to silence his detractors in France – including new manager Didier Deschamps. Great start to the season for the mercurial one after the upsets at Euro 2012.
Yohan Cabaye 6
Still trying to get back to full match fitness, but not the Yohan Cabaye we know and his free kicks were off on Saturday. But he still put in a workmanlike performance for the side, and is still getting up to speed. Yohan did well enough until he was replaced by new boy Vurnon Anita after 71 minutes. Yohan will be better at Chelsea.
Cheick Tiote 7
A bit ragged in the first half, and was almost replaced by Vurnon Anita early in the game because of injury, but he hung in there. Cheick got to grips in the second half, and got better as the game progressed. Not one of Tiote’s best performances, but he still got the job done for the team and as usual displayed a lot of energy in the engine room for Newcastle.
Jonas Gutierrez 7
One of the unsung heroes for Newcastle, and the Argentine, who was captain for the day, again worked his socks off for the Newcastle cause. His level of work for the team is amazing, and the way he was able to keep possession of the ball in the second half showed his immense skill – an under-rated player at Newcastle, but not by Alan Pardew.
Demba Ba 8
Continued his good form of pre-season and scored a fantastic goal, when he hit the ball almost perfectly to give Brad Freidel no chance at all – a goal out of the blue, and it put Newcastle on the way to an unlikely victory. That will help his confidence, and it was his first goal since early February and it came after he had been switched to the left wing in the second half – which turned out to be a good move by the manager.
Papiss Cisse 6
Still coming into match fitness, and gave the ball away a few times in the first half, but Papiss will get better with more games, and maybe next Saturday he can produce another goal to add to the two phenomenal goals he scored there earlier this year. Still getting up to speed – to be fair.
Vurnon Anita 6
Played the last 20 minutes of this match on his debut, and looked what he is – a good technical player. A couple of his early touches were not good, but he should soon get acclimatized quickly to the English style of play. A decent performance for the first time in front of Newcastle fans for a player we think will turn out to be another great buy by the club. He was worth the wait.
Gabby Obertan – didn’t play enough to get rated, but did a lot of running after he came on, and we are still hoping this lad will turn out to be a good player at Newcastle.
That’s what we think – what do you think about the performances of Newcastle players on Saturday?