Newcastle Star – It’s A Game To Forget

Moussa Sissoko played the whole game for France in Georgia on Friday  night, when they could only draw 0-0, and that was the fifth consecutive game that France haven’t scored in, and with Spain winning 2-0 in Finland, the current World and European Champions are now 3 points ahead of France with only 2 games to play in Group I.

mpussa sissoko fulham

Moussa Sissoko – in action against Fulham last weekend

Moussa Sissoko was disappointed at the outcome of the game, and this is what he had to say in L’Equipe:

“During the first hour, we should have done more to raise our level –  unfortunately, we did not. Why? “I do not have the answer.” “During the last thirty minutes, the team played better and faster.”

“If we had done that from the beginning, we might have been able to score.”  “It’s a game to forget, and we must quickly focus on Belarus.” “We are disappointed but it’s not over.”

Georgia are a team managed by former Newcastle player Temuri Ketsbaia,  and they now have 5 points from their six group games and  lie second bottom of the group.

France are at Belarus on Tuesday night,  and then play at home to Finland on 15th Ootber, whereas Spain host Belarus on 11th October and are then at home to Georgia four days later.

It seems the best chance that France have of qualifying for the finals next summer in Brazil,  is through the knockout stage, and it would be a major upset if they do not qualify.

We just hope Moussa can remain injury free,  and be available for our tough game at Aston Villa next Saturday.

Comments welcome.

Follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook and +1 us on Google+:

You can also reach Ed at

18 comments so far

  • Lilongwe Geordie

    Sep 8, 2013 at 10:26 AM

    Comment #1

    Well, while all you lot are boycotting buying programs there was a feature on me in the last one!! Bloody Typical!! 🙂

    On Shola to the World Cup, good luck to him. Knocking out my adopted nation yesterday has now halved my chances of having a related country at the World CUp. Don’t disappoint England!! Nigeria still have a fair bit to do though, they will have to be drawn in a play off, and their are some good teams that could easily upset Nigeria in the draw!

    On Cabs, I don’t think we are in a position to hold too much of a grudge. A principled stand could see us fall on our own sword. Cabaye, Anita and Sissoko are a midfield three that would be in the best 11 we can put out. While if he went on strike, it was ill advised and foolish of him, that doesn’t remove the fact that Cabaye playing well and linking with Anita and Sissoko could be the difference between top half and bottom half.

    I think with Cabaye playing we have won 2.4 points per game, without him 1.6 points per game. (Stats taken from an Arsenal website when they were bidding for him). If those are correct, then it is safe to say that we need Cabaye to play when he is fit.

    Lets not forget that Ben Arfa went on strike to join us, and we were all happy to sign Thauvin who had also gone on strike.

  • Lilongwe Geordie

    Sep 8, 2013 at 10:36 AM

    Comment #2

    Oh, and here is a link to my latest blog for the True Faith fanzine.

  • cyprus

    Sep 8, 2013 at 10:42 AM

    Comment #3

    That sounds like a lot of points! I stand by my ‘overrated’ assessment, mainly because your ‘key player’ must dominate in his position.

    Got me googling. Here’s an interesting find:



    Average number of blocks, interceptions and clearances per game

    5 = Gonalons – Matuidi

    4 = Cabaye – Carrick – Fellaini

    3 = Gundogan – Javi Martinez – Ramires – Vidal

    2 = Cleverley – Diego – Kondogbia – Luiz Gustavo – Modric – Pirlo – Schweinsteiger

    1 = Anderson – Fabregas – Giggs – Kagawa – Scholes


    Average number of tackles per game

    Vidal = 4.94 with 71% success rate

    Gonalons = 3.97 with 81% success rate

    Matuidi = 3.32 with 75% success rate

    Ramires = 3.2 with 76% success rate

    Cabaye = 3.08 with 65% success rate

    Schweinsteiger = 2.79 with 72% success rate

    Kondogbia = 2.77 with 77% success rate

    Fellaini = 2.65 with 73% success rate

    Pirlo = 2.56 with 73% success rate

    Luiz Gustavo = 2.5 with 73% success rate

    Carrick = 2.31 with 70% success rate

    Javi Martinez = 2.3 with 84% success rate

    Gundogan = 2.29 with 80% success rate

    Giggs = 2 with 89% success rate

    Diego = 1.72 with 78% success rate

    Scholes = 1.69 with 78% success rate

    Cleverley = 1.68 with 78% success rate

    Fabregas = 1.44 with 85% success rate

    Modric = 1.33 with 80% success rate

    Anderson = 1.06 with 72% success rate

    Kagawa = 0.85 with 88% success rate


    Average number of aerial duels per game

    Fellaini = 8.16 with 60% success rate

    Javi Martinez = 4.04 with 79% success rate

    Vidal = 2.65 with 54% success rate

    Gonalons = 2.4 with 70% success rate

    Ramires = 2.06 with 56% success rate

    Schweinsteiger = 1.93 with 46% success rate

    Kondogbia = 1.87 with 57% success rate

    Matuidi = 1.84 with 49% success rate

    Luiz Gustavo = 1.64 with 44% success rate

    Gundogan = 1.46 with 39% success rate

    Diego = 1.25 with 30% success rate

    Modric = 1.09 with 39% success rate

    Fabregas = 1.06 with 44% success rate

    Pirlo = 1.06 with 35% success rate

    Carrick = 0.86 with 55% success rate

    Anderson = 0.82 with 64% success rate

    Kagawa = 0.65 with 31% success rate

    Cabaye = 0.62 with 38% success rate

    Cleverley = 0.55 with 33% success rate

    Giggs = 0.32 with 71% success rate

    Scholes = 0.25 with 75% success rate




    Average number of chances created per game

    Pirlo 2.97

    Diego 2.06

    Cabaye 2.04

    Vidal 2.03

    Modric 1.7

    Fabregas 1.56

    Fellaini 1.29

    Giggs 1.09

    Carrick 1.03

    Kagawa 0.95

    Schweinsteiger 0.89

    Cleverley 0.86

    Anderson 0.76

    Gundogan 0.64

    Ramires 0.57

    Matuidi 0.51

    Scholes 0.5

    Javi Martinez 0.41

    Gonalons 0.31

    Kondogbia 0.29

    Luiz Gustavo 0.27


    Average number of accurate long passes per game

    Pirlo 9.63 and 82% accuracy

    Schweinsteiger 8.57 and 80% accuracy

    Scholes 7.69 and 85% accuracy

    Gonalons 6.51 and 83% accuracy

    Gundogan 6 and 79% accuracy

    Carrick 5.61 and 75% accuracy

    Cabaye 4.92 and 67% accuracy

    Diego 4.22 and 80% accuracy

    Fabregas 4.06 and 83% accuracy

    Anderson 3.88 and 80% accuracy

    Luiz Gustavo 3.55 and 84% accuracy

    Modric 3.36 and 85% accuracy

    Javi Martinez 3 and 75% accuracy

    Cleverley 2.86 and 74% accuracy

    Vidal 2.48 and 70% accuracy

    Matuidi 2.05 and 78% accuracy

    Kondogbia 1.87 and 77% accuracy

    Ramires 1.8 and 70% accuracy

    Fellaini 1.77 and 76% accuracy

    Kagawa 1.45 and 91% accuracy

    Giggs 1.36 and 65% accuracy


    Average number of dribbles per game

    Diego 5.66 with 70% success rate

    Gundogan 3.21 with 64% success rate

    Pirlo 2.91 with 46% success rate

    Modric 2.03 with 70% success rate

    Schweinsteiger 2 with 63% success rate

    Vidal 1.74 with 43% success rate

    Kondogbia 1.71 with 64% success rate

    Fabregas 1.56 with 46% success rate

    Ramires 1.54 with 50% success rate

    Javi Martinez 1.44 with 56% success rate

    Fellaini 1.32 with 44% success rate

    Luiz Gustavo 1.18 with 58% success rate

    Anderson 1.06 with 67% success rate

    Giggs 1 with 50% success rate

    Kagawa 0.95 with 42% success rate

    Gonalons 0.69 with 63% success rate

    Cleverley 0.64 with 29% success rate

    Cabaye 0.58 with 47% success rate

    Carrick 0.39 with 57% success rate

    Scholes 0.19 with 67% success rate




    Minutes per goal (most recent club)

    Fabregas 226

    Kagawa 281.7

    Vidal 297.9

    Diego 310

    Scholes 344.6

    Giggs 408.8

    Fellaini 453.3

    Ramires 502.2

    Cabaye 535.4

    Schweinsteiger 588

    Gundogan 690.3

    Cleverley 753.8

    Modric 822.3

    Pirlo 949.6

    Javi Martinez 1027.7

    Luiz Gustavo 1098.8

    Anderson 1206.8

    Carrick 1233.5

    Gonalons 1360

    Kondogbia 2355


    Minutes per goal (whole career)

    Kagawa 187.1

    Diego 313.8

    Gundogan 320.4

    Scholes 351.9

    Fabregas 351.9

    Giggs 410.5

    Vidal 423.2

    Fellaini 501

    Cleverley 508.3

    Schweinsteiger 511.1

    Ramires 514.4

    Cabaye 518.3

    Modric 540.5

    Pirlo 710.8

    Anderson 860.5

    Javi Martinez 913

    Kondogbia 1059.4

    Gonalons 1417.7

    Carrick 1513.4

    Luiz Gustavo 2013.5

  • Shearer.Milburn

    Sep 8, 2013 at 10:45 AM

    Comment #4

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY GARY SPEED!!!!!!! The legend would have been 44 today. Gone but never forgotten!!! HWTL

  • Lilongwe Geordie

    Sep 8, 2013 at 10:52 AM

    Comment #5

    Those are interesting stats. More goals per minute than Modric is particularly interesting. As a marker against those other players mentioned, and some are truly top class players, it would appear only his dribbling and heading are weak points.

    I do think Cabaye is overrated, but he is still one of the key players in our team. For that reason I don’t feel we can leave him out on principle. If we had strengthened better then maybe, but for me we need him to play, and hopefully to play well!! I haven’t changed my view of our best side since Remy’s arrival, and it would still contain a midfield trio of Anita, Cabaye and Sissoko.

  • MacToon

    Sep 8, 2013 at 10:52 AM

    Comment #6

    Bills-son, We will never be able to do as much damage to this club as Ashley has done. Your statement of I’ll be disappointed in Ashley if…. rhetoric at the start of the summer didn’t last long.

    Don’t listen to me but Tino, Quinn, Pav, Kitson, Shearer and now Elliot and lots more. I know who I’d rather listen to!

  • Lilongwe Geordie

    Sep 8, 2013 at 10:55 AM

    Comment #7

    In fairness, most of our players are either overrated or underrated by our fans. Ben Arfa, Tiote, Jonas, Cisse, Colo, MYM, Taylor, Santon, Sissoko, Anita, Debuchy. All to some extent are either overrated or underrated as players by our fan base.

    For me, if we are to do well, Anita is probably the key player as he allows our full backs to go forward without leaving us open defensively. But will Pards keep him in the team?

  • cyprus

    Sep 8, 2013 at 11:00 AM

    Comment #8

    Individual stats, of course, don’t reflect a team and a game do they? ie. Completed passes, shots on goal, areas game played, possession, set piece conversion etc.

    AP and players should watch those 15 minutes to see what happened. Me, i’m not sure apart from change of personnel: Incisiveness? Directness? Speed? Decisiveness? Desperation? Maybe you can shed some light 🙂

  • Ian Toon

    Sep 8, 2013 at 11:04 AM

    Comment #9

    Lilongwe- I always buy the programme as I like to follow the academy players and less publicised news. I have to confess I hadn’t read the ‘Where in the World’ until just now.
    Surprising choice of favourite player but I also hold him in high esteem. I too was taken as a kid to football but I didn’t need to convert to the toon as it’s in the DNA of myfamily.

  • bills-son

    Sep 8, 2013 at 11:04 AM

    Comment #10


    Exactly what damage has Ashley done to the club?

    No rhetoric – quantifiable actual damage?

  • Lilongwe Geordie

    Sep 8, 2013 at 11:06 AM

    Comment #11

    No individual stats don’t reflect a teams performance, or how a game has gone but they are an indicator of influences on a game.

    The last 15 minutes was much improved. I felt much more positive after the Fulham game then I have for a long while, maybe the Chelsea game just after the signings in Jan. If Pards can continue with that positivity, and harness it then, as long as players stay fit, we could have an okay season. Given our squad, I’d be happy with a top ten finish this season.

  • Fostino

    Sep 8, 2013 at 11:08 AM

    Comment #13


    debuchy yanga colo santon

    ben afra sissoko cabaye goofy

    cisse remy

    not too bad at all

  • Lilongwe Geordie

    Sep 8, 2013 at 11:12 AM

    Comment #14

    Yeah, I don’t really have a “favourite player” at the moment. I explain my reasons for picking him, and it worked out as more of a process of elimination. Don’t get me wrong, I like our more exciting players, but I feel that with their talent they should be offering more. I also would generally choose a youngster to do well.

    One of my all time favourites, and a player that we sold for a criminally low amount was Aaron Hughes. Top pro, and a very good defender. Why he was sold is beyond me.

    I’m not sure I converted, I more converted my dad then anything else!!

  • Ian Toon

    Sep 8, 2013 at 11:15 AM

    Comment #15

    Lilongwe- I know you’ve got an insatiable appetite for football stats and analysis, so you might enjoy a piece by Tom Davidson in The Mag. It’s of the Fulham game and is well constructed and is an accurate review of the game.

  • Ian Toon

    Sep 8, 2013 at 11:16 AM

    Comment #16

    Lilongwe – I am running late. Enjoywhat’s left of your weekend.

  • Lilongwe Geordie

    Sep 8, 2013 at 11:19 AM

    Comment #17

    Cheers Ian, same to you mate.

  • Ian Toon

    Sep 8, 2013 at 11:20 AM

    Comment #18

    I agree on Hughes he was sold by Souness for £ 1 million at his peak.
    A player that could play anywhere across the back four. Mind I wasn’t overly impressed with him against us.


You must log in to post a comment.